BBA backs petition to freeze business rates

BBA chairman Andrew Marsden.
BBA chairman Andrew Marsden.

The Batley Business Association (BBA) has thrown its support behind the Reporter Series’ Shop Local campaign.

Our petition urges the government to revise the business rates for shops and small to medium enterprises who are struggling to cope with the demands of the tax.

The Reporter Series is joining forces with Johnston Press titles from across the country in driving the campaign, which has already been backed by local MPs and the Dewsbury Chamber of Trade.

Adding the BBA’s support, chairman Andrew Marsden said: “From our point of view anything that assists us in getting people into Batley is a good thing.

“Small independent retailers are really struggling at the moment and it’s difficult for traders out there.

“At the moment the town centre is just about holding its own but it could do with improvement.”

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) is Johnston Press’ leading partner in the campaign, which seeks to engage the government in a meaningful discussion about the rates.

The rates have not been changed since 2008 and have cost businesses nearly £700m over the last three years - officially the highest property tax bills in Europe.

They are not due to be reviewed until 2017, by which time commentators and trade chamber leaders claim thousands of businesses will be forced to close, partly as a result of the rates.

To sign the petition please visit http://www.change.org/p/uk-government-launch-an-immediate-review-of-the-business-rates-system-in-england-freezing-rates-in-the-interim