Jo Johnson praises Chancellor’s support for the high street

Jo Johnson praised announcements made in yesterday’s budget to support the high street. The Chancellor of the Exchequer backed high street retailers by cutting business rates by a third for two years. Rates will be cut by a third for retailers with rateable value under £51,000, saving up to 90 per cent of all shops up to £8,000 each year. This follows business rates relief measures worth £12 billion introduced since 2016.


The relief will benefit 63 per cent of Orpington town centre businesses. A business in a premises with the median rateable value for Orpington town centre and a business rates bill of £10,300 stands to benefit by £3,400.[1]


Jo said ‘I am glad the Chancellor has recognised that many small retail businesses are struggling to cope with the high fixed costs of business rates. I know that Business Improvement Groups such as Orpington 1st have worked hard to lobby the government for changes to business rates, and I am glad the Chancellor understands the importance of small retail businesses and the high street.’


The budget further supported the high street with the announcement of £675 million to improve transport links, re-develop empty shops as homes and offices and restore and re-use old and historic properties. Furthermore, public lavatories will receive 100 per cent business rates relief.


[1] Orpington 1st, ‘Business Rates cut following BIDs' campaign’, 29 October 2018,