Restaurant owners are being advised that financial assistance is at hand as many catering businesses struggle with the time-consuming appeal process over business rates.

It has been reported that the onerous business rates appeal procedure – which in some cases can take up to two-and-a-half years – is accelerating CVAs and closures and putting huge strain on companies in all sectors, particularly those in the catering trade.

Just 1.3% of the 1.85m rateable properties in England have been contested in the 12 months since a significant increase in rates in 2017.

John Webber, Head of Business Rating at Colliers International, told The Caterer: “We act for a lot of F&B and pub operators and they are all suffering in terms of being unable to navigate the system and finding it very difficult to deal with the new appeals site. The system is stacked against them at the moment and if you look at the CVAs going through it’s about rents.”

The Government’s Valuation Office Agency is looking into the problem but has yet to announce any firm progress in making the appeal process more efficient.

Mark Kozo, Head of Marketing at Portman Asset Finance, said: “Business rates have risen dramatically in some parts of the UK and the last thing restaurant owners need is to be dragged down by this burdensome appeal process.

“What we would say to them at a time like this is look carefully at your business and identify where you can add value or minimise any damage. Securing affordable finance – with flexible repayment terms – can help you acquire new assets to improve your offering to customers and increase turnover, or help you bridge the gap in difficult times.”

More details about Portman’s fast and flexible finance solutions for catering businesses are available here, while our dedicated Account Managers can be contacted on 01604 321 995.

Portman Asset Finance