Business rate hike: with next April comes dread

(17 November, 2016)

If all the traditional, existing firms end up being priced out, the area loses its soul


Businesses in the borough will be viewing next April with dread – as the government brings in a dramatic hike in business rates.

Previous rates were set in 2008, with the updated figures taken from property prices in April 2015. So in areas such as Borough and Bermondsey, Peckham and East Dulwich, property prices have soared beyond belief. Many businesses will have seen increased footfall from this, and large firms will have moved to the area. Yet it’s also true that many businesses, and certainly ones that were in an area before it took off, will not have seen a rise in business commensurate with the increase in rent and now rates.

Whenever an area undergoes rapid transformation, there’s an inevitable shake-up of businesses. But if all the traditional, existing firms end up being priced out, then the area loses its soul – in spite of all the shiny new buildings.

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