UKHospitality has warned that a cap on the amount of business rates relief that can be claimed by operators in England, could destroy the future of hospitality venues after they reopen. The 100% rates holiday has been extended until June by the chancellor however, businesses will have to pay two-thirds of their business rates bills for the remaining nine months of the financial year. On top of that, a £2 million cap on the relief available to businesses will mean a large proportion of the hospitality industry will be unable to make use of this discount.
UKHospitality has estimated that this will mean almost 8,000 businesses, which employ about 343,000 people will be paying full rates from July. A further 1,850 sites face the same issue before October. The cap will typically affect businesses with large sites, multiple venues or those paying high rents in areas such as city centres and on high streets.
Wales and Scotland have both extended their businesses holiday rates for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses for a further 12 months, making operators question the policy in England. UKHospitality is calling for the treasury to extend the 100% uncapped rates relief for a further three months beyond June, with a 50% discount for the remainder of the year.
“July is simply too early for businesses to be expected to start repaying rates after a devastating year of closure, restrictions and accumulation of debt,” said UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls. “Hospitality stands ready to play its part in creating new jobs and boosting our communities across the country, but this policy risks strangling the recovery in its infancy.”
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