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.
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.
 Orpington 1st, ‘Business Rates cut following BIDs' campaign’, 29 October 2018, http://www.orpington1st.co.uk/news/d/122405/business-rates-cut-following-bids-campaign/