Home Business News Retail sector still faces cliff edge

Retail sector still faces cliff edge

by LLB Finance Reporter
11th Mar 21 9:16 am

The business support measures announced in the budget should be in place for much longer or many companies could still fail  say leading tax  advisory firm Blick Rothenberg.

Mark Hart retail partner at the firm said: “It has been a week since the budget announcement which was hailed as a means to kick start the retail sector, but businesses could  face a cliff edge when all support is withdrawn at a time when they should be gearing the businesses up for the Christmas trading period.

“The Chancellor extended  furlough and business rates relief until then but even then, many won’t have been trading long enough and they won’t be strong enough to stand the sudden increase in costs and many could just go under.

“Clients based in the  based in the West End of London  and focused on the luxury market fear  that withdrawing the support measures in one go will just leave them high and dry.

“Businesses based in Central London are dependent upon tourists and office workers, there is no indication that those people will making their way back until after restrictions are lifted in June and it will be the same throughout the country.

Mark added, “There is also  disappointment that there was no mention of business rates reform. Although the budget extended rates relief for retail businesses until the end of September, business rates is a huge burden on retailers especially in prime areas and gives online retailers an unfair competitive advantage.

“One of our luxury clients, Luke Irwin Rugs Limited considers that  reintroducing business rates so soon will be the death knell of the high street when so many businesses have been on hold for nine of the last twelve months.

“The  budget was not able to address the fundamental issue facing our clients which is the ability to open and to stay open and the Chancellor should urgently look at a way of extending the support until after the Christmas period. perhaps on the basis that  firms could pay money back to the Government after that period and that rates relief could be extended and also reformed.”

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