Mr Hammond, are you listening?
The average rateable value of a property in London is set to exceed the next closest region (the South East) by around £32,000 when the new business rates come in 2017.
The FSB recently surveyed micro and small businesses across London and found that nearly two thirds (63%) of Central London small businesses will miss out on business rate exemption when the level is set at £12,000 from 2017; and a further 18% are uncertain if they will be exempt.
The FSB is calling on the chancellor to create an increased inner and outer London SBBR threshold that reflects the specific problems faced by small businesses in the capital:
In inner London (comprising of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Islington, Camden, City, Hammersmith & Fulham, Southwark, Hackney and Lambeth) we believe the threshold should be £20,000 RV for 100 per cent relief tapering to £23,000. In outer London (all other Boroughs) where rateable values have increased by a lower percentage, we believe the threshold for 100 per cent relief should be set at £15,000 tapering to £18,000.
Sue Terpilowski OBE, London Policy Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“Small business decisions on where they will locate, at the time of renewal, will be judged on clarity of information. The business rates for a significant percentage of our members are staggeringly high and, coupled with market rents, is contributing to the excessively high cost of doing business in London – which makes it less attractive for micro and small businesses.”