UK Retailers demand rate cuts to save the high street

More than 50 major high street retail chains are demanding government tax cuts to protect themselves from growing business rates and online competition. The retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Harrods and Iceland, have written to UK chancellor Sajid Javid to request urgent reform to business rates in a bid to protect the high street and boost retail business as the country leaves the EU.

The British Retail Consortium who organised the letter said high street vacancy rates have risen to 10.3% the highest since 2015.

The National Hairdressers Federation has campaigned hard for reforms to business rates for professional hair salons, barbershop and beauty salons. NHF chief executive HILARY HALL told HJ: “A recent survey of our members shows around two thirds don’t pay business rates because they quality for small business rates relief. Often these reliefs are short-term and temporary so we’re calling for them to be made permanent, as they are in Wales, to help small businesses plan ahead”

Hilary also said: “Salon and barbershop owners can help by writing to their local MPs to get their support for our campaign”

HELLEN WARD, Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa managing Director, told HJ it is essential for professional hair salons to lobby together for a level playing field: “…Until the government takes steps to ensure taxation is fair, the High Street is in peril, and that includes hair and beauty salons…”

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