A sigh of relief? Government plans to reinvigorate the high street

New year, new start? At the beginning of the year, you may have been one of the many who made a new year’s resolution to eat healthily and get fit.

The government has also joined in. Plans were originally announced back in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement to invigorate the high street, giving struggling retailers and small businesses a much-needed boost through the following measures: business rates relief by offering a discount of up to £1,000 off rates bills for businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000 — this measure has now been implemented for 2014–16 following Eric Pickles’ announcement at the end of January 2014; the introduction of reoccupation relief in relation to vacant premises, giving new occupants of previously empty retail premises a 50 per cent reduction on business rates; allowing businesses to pay their rates in 12 monthly instalments, rather than 10; the cap (but not freeze) of two per cent on this year’s rates increase; and reforming business rates at the next revaluation of Britain’s property in 2017…

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