New figures show nearly 200,000 firms received court summons for failing to pay business rates in a recent 12-month period.

Consultancy Altus Group issued freedom of information requests to councils across England to discover how many businesses had been summoned between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018. Birmingham City Council and Liverpool City Council had summoned 7,044 and 3,538 businesses to magistrates respectively.  

Anita Nye, of Premier Eldred Drive Stores in Orpington, said: “The government says it’s helping, but these numbers say otherwise. Businesses are struggling because they’re getting increasing rates added to other overheads.”

However, Jai Singh, of MJ’s Go Local Extra in Sheffield, said: “We get relief, which shows the government is helping.”

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