Bill Grimsey, former CEO of Wickes and Iceland, has been a consistent critic of business rates, and their unfair impact on the high street. Years after Grimsey's article in the New Statesman, his fears for the health of retail have borne bitter fruit, with profit warnings for trading giants and City rumours of takeovers and even closure.
Commercial Property Advisors (CPA) agrees with Bill Grimsey that business rates are intrinsically unfair, not being based on ability to pay and often out of date.
CPA has enjoyed success in challenging rate demands, by means of comprehensive surveys and sensitivity to material changes in trading circumstances.
The fact that despite official government reports and Budget interventions nothing substantial has come to the rescue of independent retailers means that re-appraisal of an enterprise's business rates, often three times its annual rent, may be key to its survival.
Operating on a no win fee basis, CPA responds promptly to all calls for assistance. Mere speculation that money can be saved in this way may well be enough to produce an invaluable refund - a financial lifeline.