George Osborne said the government would provide additional support to the retail sector through a business rates discount of up to £1,000 in 2014/15 and 2015/16. A new reoccupation relief is to be introduced to help smaller retailers which have been hit “especially hard” by the tough economy.
This will be for retail properties (including pubs, cafes, restaurants and charity shops) with a rateable value of up to £50,000. There will also be a 50 per cent discount from business rates for new occupants of previously empty retail premises for 18 months
He said: “There is one group of businesses that have found the recession especially hard – as it has coincided with a rising challenge from the internet that is only getting stronger.
“These are our local retailers – the shops, the pubs and the cafes that make up our high streets across Britain. With Small Business Saturday this weekend, I want the government to do all it can to help them.”