The looming threat of substantial business rate bills is casting a shadow over Bristol's bustling hospitality industry. Hoteliers in the city have expressed their concerns, with some fearing that these high bills could spell the end for many businesses that are already grappling with the aftermath of Brexit, the pandemic, and escalating energy costs.
The Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) has united with the trade body UK Hospitality in an urgent plea to the Chancellor, requesting intervention to mitigate the anticipated spike in business rate bills scheduled for next April. According to UK Hospitality, the industry could be facing a challenging bill of £864 million. They have also called on businesses to write letters to their MPs in a bid to prompt action before this month’s Autumn statement, which should be released on 22nd of November 2023.
Business rates in the UK are typically recalibrated in line with inflation, as determined by the previous September's Consumer Price Index (CPI). The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics have placed the CPI at 6.7%. It's important to note that the most recent business rates revaluation had already resulted in a significant increase of over 7%.
Chair of the BHA, Raphael Herzog, is advocating for the Chancellor to maintain the current business rates relief for hospitality, which has offered up to £110,000 per business for each billing year, and to freeze the business rates multiplier. CPA agrees that the potential business rates bills in April could be the last straw for some businesses.
The situation is quite gloomy and complex at the moment. Previously, the government supported the retail and hospitality sectors by reducing the Rateable Value (RV) during the last revaluation and issuing extensive retail reliefs in previous years. However, as we can see, this is not enough, and it also lacks adequate support for other property types. CPA believes that a more advanced approach should be considered when addressing business rates. With our team of expert surveyors and a commitment to a "no win, no fee" basis, we are well-positioned to assist businesses in navigating the complexities of business rates and securing fair rates for their properties.
With business rates being a significant overhead for retailers and hospitality businesses, the upcoming review and potential increases are a cause for concern. As we approach the Autumn statement, the retail and hospitality sectors will be watching closely to see if their calls for support are answered.