Government Minister hints at Business Rate change; high street could be incentivised to invest through policy change; high street investment easier through business finance

BUSINESS Rates could be set to fall after Business Secretary Greg Clark conceded that such a measure could be necessary to stem the tide of store closures in high streets across the UK.

The Government minister was speaking at an event during the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham when he revealed that reducing business rates would be “one way of doing that.”

Stores spanning myriad businesses have been closing at a consistent level during recent years and business rate rises have been enacted throughout this period, which has been cited by the Federation of Small Businesses as a reason for the decline in buoyancy.

The climate has made it difficult for small businesses and established retailers as they decide to invest in bricks and mortar, facilities, equipment and other assets to improve experiences, productivity and efficiency.

Changes to business rates have already been confirmed, but there are more to follow

Soft and hard assets can be invested in without sacrificing working capital through Portman Asset Finance, but without the long-term stability and confidence that physical stores will be profitable, many stores have closed or refrained from financing company improvements.

Changes have already been brought forward by Chancellor Phillip Hammond to bring business rates in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), as opposed to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) that currently dictates rate rises.

The Business Retail Consortium does not believe that these changes go far enough, though, considering that high street retailers will be paying as much as £190 million more even with the changes.

More concessions look set to be following this, however, given the intimations of Clark.

There will now be greater scope to invest in facilities, with increased capital being kept within businesses rather than being sent to the exchequer.

Independent retailers will benefit most from changes to business rates

Retailers like those featured above will benefit from the potential changes to business rates

Retailers need the high street to support sales and perceptions online, too.

The positive impact retail stores have has been mentioned in a previous Portman article, but with a lack of confidence, companies have not been mobilised in their efforts to instigate success.

Deliver business success without compromising cash flow

Portman provides businesses with the scope to maximise this potentially buoyant news through asset finance solutions, business loans, and refinance agreements that ensures working funds are protected, but new equipment can be purchased with interest rates from 2.5 per cent.

Increasing inflation and a more stable pound have prompted the Bank of England to consider further interest rate rises, however.

Arranging asset finance agreements now ensures your business has the best chance of getting optimal, preferential rates before any potential increases before the end of the year.

Getting the rates fixed as soon as possible will add various financial benefits: this is where Portman can step in.

The potential for interest rates to change during a three, four, or five year term is high, but with the award-winning asset finance company, rates are fixed for the duration of the arrangement.

Head of Marketing at Portman Asset Finance stressed how important the potential change to business rates would be, if implemented. He said: “The announcement by the Business Secretary will mean the difference of thousands of pounds for the average business.

“Investing in soft and hard assets will now be an easier and less risky decision, which can be helped further by the retail asset finance solutions provided by Portman that are also 100 per cent tax deductible.”

Find out how much your business can gain from asset finance solutions from Portman by calling 01604 761 276 to speak to an experienced account manager.

Portman Asset Finance