‘This budget helps Potters Bar businesses’

PUBLISHED: 10:52 09 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:52 09 March 2017

Councillor John Graham, pictured  by  Blake-Ezra Photography.

Councillor John Graham, pictured by Blake-Ezra Photography.

© Blake Ezra Photography Ltd. 2012.www.blakeezraphotography.com.+44 (0) 208 7365868

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget yesterday is excellent news for shops in Potters Bar and other local small businesses, according to the man who holds the borough council’s purse strings.

Hertsmere borough councillor John Graham, cabinet member in charge of finance and economic development, hailed Mr Hammond’s announcement that no business losing Small Business Rates Relief having received it in 2016/17 will see its bill rise by more than £50 per month in 2017/18.

Some currently eligible businesses will lose the relief as the rateable value threshold will increase from £12,000 to £15,000.

The business rate revaluation due to apply from April has caused widespread concern nationally, but according to the Conservative borough council, it is good news for Hertsmere.

The authority has calculated that more than 60 per cent of the businesses in the borough will either get a reduction or experience no change.

Councillor Graham said: “This is excellent news for our local small businesses and for the borough as a whole, with many of our smaller businesses now being exempt from paying any business rates at all.

“Approximately 40 per cent of ratepayers have less than £1,000 to pay and 30 per cent have nothing to pay.

“At a time when the economic climate is still challenging, here in Hertsmere we have encouraging occupancy rates for our business premises, making for several thriving retail and commercial hubs across the borough.

“As a council, we currently keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally, helping to contribute towards the services we provide and enabling us to support economic growth in Hertsmere.”

However, the Government’s critics point out that small business owners will lose out from the two per cent increase in National Insurance for the self-employed.

The authority is sending a leaflet to potential new claimants of Small Business Rates Relief, explaining how to apply, but they can also contact its business rates team.

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