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Opinion: We need business rate action to help boost Preston’s shopping streets

Posted on - 23rd October, 2014 - 9:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Opinion, Preston City Centre
The cost of operating premises on Preston's main streets can often lead many retailers to struggle

The cost of operating premises on Preston’s main streets can often lead many retailers to struggle Pic: Steve Murtagh

Ask any shop owner or councillor throughout the land what the biggest problem facing the High Street is and they will pinpoint the high cost of business rates.

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With a levy running into tens of thousands of pounds for traders in main shopping areas it is a huge outlay before a till has even been opened.

Add in staff wages, utility bills, rent, stock, insurance and so on and it is not hard to see why the level of frustration is so high for so many businesses at a time when the impact of the recession is still being felt on the High Street.

That is why the Lancashire Evening Post has teamed up with newspapers up and down the country to call for a Government rethink of the business rating system.

The charge provides the Government with more than four per cent of the nation’s tax income and any reform will take inevitably this into account.

But the current system of business rates is just not working for small businesses or the High Street.

The Government needs to review this failing system, the right deal could act as a stimulus to fill empty shop units and encourage small businesses to breathe new life into our local economies and the Exchequer.

To find out more and sign the Evening Post’s petition click here.

Mike Hill is Associate Editor of the Lancashire Evening Post, and has been invited to author this piece as Blog Preston backs the Evening Post business rates campaign

Do you support the campaign? Do you run a business in Preston? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below

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