Help is on the way for Islington's small businesses that are being hit by massive Tory Government increases in business rates bills, courtesy of a new 'relief scheme' designed by Labour-run Islington Council.
Earlier this year, the council worked alongside local businesses and business groups to oppose the Government's business rates revaluation, which will see local firms facing an average 42 per cent rise in rate bills by 2020/21. A 14,250-strong signature petition was presented to HM Treasury, demonstrating the strength of local opposition to the rate rise.
Following Islington's campaign, and pressure from business groups, the Government was forced to announce a relief scheme to soften the impact of the rate rises. Islington received £8.6 million in relief funding, which the council has agreed will be distributed to small businesses facing the biggest rate rises. However, with businesses across the borough having to pay a combined £315 million extra in business rates, the relief funding is far below what is needed.
Cllr Asima Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development, said: "The Government's rate rise is going to be really hard for many local businesses to cope with, so I am pleased that the council is able to provide some relief for the worst affected businesses.
"Small and independent businesses in Islington are incredibly important to our borough, and we are working really hard with them and local business groups to support them.
"However, we need the Government to realise that small businesses need more support and we urge them again to rethink this damaging hike in business rates."
For more information about business rates, including advice on how to appeal, please visit – https://www.islington.gov.uk/business/business-rates
- Pictured – Cllr Asima Shaikh and local business owners submit petition to HM Treasury.