‘No shops left’ in Arcades if business rates continue to rise

24 January 2017

Independent businesses in Cardiff’s Arcades say rising business rates mean they’re struggling to stay open.

Caroline Newinhouse owns Boardroom Coffee in the Duke Street Arcade and she says a combination of rent and increased business rates means she has to close. She says the rates are ‘unfair’ because they’re based on the size of the property rather than the turnover. She says ”I’ve got a downstairs area which hardly ever gets used because the shop’s not busy enough but i’m still paying rates for that. I’m forking out hundreds every month on top of rent”. Boardroom Coffee will close in March.

Business rates are set by the Welsh Government, and rose in September. Previously, rates were set according to the price of a property in 2008, but now they’re set according to 2015 prices. This has meant a dramatic increase in rates for some businesses in Wales. The rates are also calculated based on the size of the property.

The Welsh Government have already invested £10m in the ‘small business rates relief’ scheme and they’ve earmarked a further £20m in April. The scheme aims to help the smallest businesses in Wales and shops with rental values of less than £6,000, for example, don’t have to pay business rates. Meanwhile, shops with rental values of £9,000 get a 50% reduction.

A spokesperson from the Welsh Government told CJS News “We are currently examining how we can improve the Small Business Rates Relief scheme for 2018 when a permanent scheme will be introduced in Wales. We will consider all the feedback we’ve received from the business community as part of this process.”

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