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27 January 2015

Business Rates in Hertfordshire a problem say FSB

Reference number: FSB PR 03/2015

Over 70 % of small businesses in Hertfordshire believe that  business rates are so complicated that they have a problem understanding them according to a survey of local members by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).  Only 15% of businesses are  aware  that their local authority has the power to grant hardship relief when businesses are experiencing difficulty.

The survey also found that   over 90% of businesses agreed that business rates were too high,  of which 70% strongly agreed.

Pam Charman,  chair of  the Hertfordshire branch of the FSB said: "We want to  see all Hertfordshire''s local authorities helping  businesses by automatically identifying those eligible for Small Business Rate Relief. We are also urging them to promote the other forms of existing rate reliefs available for small businesses and use their powers to award discounts to those businesses that need help.

"Whilst we are of course very pleased  that the government has agreed to our calls for a fundamental reform of the Business Rates system, until this happens  we want whoever forms the next Government to re-introduce 100 per cent empty property rates relief on all properties, irrespective of size, at a time when many properties cannot be let and some small business property owners are struggling."