Small firms welcome Labour’s commitment to reduce business rate burden

In response to the speech by Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, Martin McTague, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said: “Small firms were looking for a strong statement from Labour on business rates – and they got one.

“The Shadow Chancellor’s support for small businesses is welcome. These are the businesses that will be helped by Labour’s commitment to increasing the threshold for Small Business Rate Relief to a rateable value of £25,000.

“We estimate that increasing the relief threshold will lift 200,000 small businesses out of paying rates altogether, the bulk of them in levelling-up target areas.

“Small firms will be helped and encouraged by a reduction in the burden posed by business rates, which are an immediate cost on firms before they make a penny of turnover – let alone profit.

“The decision to abolish downward transition relief is very welcome. This means that if a business’s rateable value falls, it will see the discounted rate immediately, rather than having to wait to feel the benefit.

“The Shadow Chancellor’s commitment to work in partnership with businesses is great to hear. As 99% of UK businesses are counted as ‘small’ – in size if not in ambition – we look forward to seeing this put into practice.”

Green investment

“Small firms will play a key role in the transition to a net zero economy and they are keen to do so.

“The Shadow Chancellor’s remarks on the need for energy security complement this, and the ongoing energy price crisis is more than enough of a reminder of why small businesses think this is so important.”