Today, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan joined forces with Heart of London Business Alliance, London Councils and London Business Improvement Districts representing over 16,000 business across the Capital to describe the business rates revaluation, together with the uncertainty caused by Brexit, as a “double whammy for business in London.”
In a letter addressed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, the Mayor of London and business leaders from across London have outlined the scale, suddenness and negative impact the business rates hikes will have on hospitality, retail, leisure and the office sector.
The letter also outlined the damage these significant changes would have not only for London’s high streets, but on the city’s appeal as a destination for international visitors and investors.
Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance says:
“As the voice for businesses across Piccadilly, Leicester Square and St James’s – the heart of London – we know the detrimental impact of large business rates rises on the DNA of the West End. The proposed hike in rates threatens London’s world-class destination status for visitors and future inward investment from international businesses.
“Our area celebrates some of the most iconic visitor attractions in the UK, which welcome more than 400 million visitors annually to enjoy the diverse offering across cultural, retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. SME’s and independents’ contribution is significant and the proposed hike would severely undermine London’s future prosperity.
“Following a +47% increase in international tax free spend across the city in January, London is undoubtedly a driving force behind the UK’s tourist economy – which is why it is critical Government takes the right action in the short and long term to support these businesses in light of the challenges ahead.”
Today we have asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to:
- Consider transitional measures to mitigate the impact of business rate rises;
- Look favourably at policies and schemes that will enable businesses to create more income, such as local investment through TIF schemes; and
- In the longer term, commit to a review of business taxes, including business rates, to ensure that we have a system that best supports economic growth and produces a high tax take in our post-Brexit economy