There was a small breakthrough for small shops when the Chancellor announced reform of the business rates system in his Autumn Statement today.

During the Statement, George Osborne announced that Government would:

  • Extend the doubling of small business rate relief for a further year from April 1, 2015
  • Extend the higher threshold for small business rate relief
  • Change the rules so that alterations to rateable values can only be backdated to the period between April 1, 2010, and April 1, 2015, for Valuation Office Agency (VOA) alterations made before 1 April 2016 and ratepayers’ appeals made before 1 April 2015
  • Increase rate relief for high street shops by 50% to £1,500
  • Continue the 2% cap on rates increases for an additional year from April 1, 2015
  • Conduct a review of the future structure of business rates to report by Budget 2016.
Here’s what the industry had to say on Twitter:

2% cap, doubling of rate relief for another year, £1500 discount and full review in future, great news for local shops ‪#autumnstatement
@ACS_LocalShops

Pleased to see review of outdated ‪#BusinessRates system. Something we have long argued for  #AutumnStatement
@fsb_policy

The £133million increase in business rates for retail will be offset by the extra £150million in discounts ‪#AS2014
@PaulTMRetail

The review into business rates won’t report until 2016, says Mr Balls. Why won’t the chancellor take action now, he asks. ‪#AutumnStatement
@BBCBusiness

Full review of ‪#businessrates is what small shops need, just hope they don’t do a ‘U-turn’ ‪#AutumnStatement ‪#AS2014
@AmitP327

We welcome ‪@George_Osborne‘s announcement that there will be a full review of the structure of business rates. ‪#AutumnStatement
@the_brc

So, Business Rates Review announced and business organisations encouraged to contribute. Can guarantee bira will do that.
@bira_says

Business rate review promised but they’ll go up again by a max of 2%…good job Chancellor targeting web rivals with profit grab
@steve_hawkes