According to The British Hospitality Association and business rates specialists Altus, there are over 20,000 hospitality business rates appeals still outstanding from the 2010 valuation list. That figure is likely to increase substantially following the revaluation of commercial properties in April of this year which have led to rates increase in the hospitality sector as well as many others. It has also been reported that only around £197k of the government’s £300m business rates relief fund has been allocated to businesses who have applied for it. The cashflow implications to businesses on the high street can mean the difference between being able to continue to trade or close the door.
Ufi Ibrahim, the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association said:
“The findings from our Freedom of Information request paints a chaotic picture. We now know the full extent of the crisis facing the hospitality industry with 20,490 hospitality business waiting on appeals from complaints they lodged in 2010. This is further compounded by the lack of clarity concerning the new appeals process. It is increasingly clear that through no fault of its own the Valuation Office is underfunded and thus over run. The government needs to act now before it is too late.”
What is of more concern is that around 23% of hotels are facing hikes in the rates that they are required to pay and a large percentage of pubs and restaurants are also noticing large increases. The knock-on effects could mean having to reduce staffing levels to cope or looking at alternative suppliers as a way of reducing costs. You should ensure that all cost increases are factored into your cash flow forecasts to see the effect and whether your business can sustain it in your current model. If not then you will have to look at what other options are available (price increases/re-staffing etc). This once again shows the importance of real time information to allow you to make important and relevant decisions.
If you have received an increased business rates bill then contact Adam on firstname.lastname@example.org who can help you to consider the effects on your business. Raffingers are also able to assist you in the appeals process by referring you to Six Forward.
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