With all the furore regarding the revaluation of Business Rates, what will become of Auchterarder High Street when these measures are implemented?
Many towns have found themselves inundated with charity shops, bookies and bargain basement stores, is this the future for Auchterarder High Street? Community Amateur Sports Clubs and Registered Charities enjoy 80% relief of the rates payable, which is why there are so many charity shops on local High Streets nowadays. Medium sized properties are especially attractive as they are too big for an independent trader and too small for the multinational companies.
Are the independent traders who make Auchterarder so unique going to struggle with the rates revaluation?
At first glance it can look quite damaging with some businesses going from 100% rates relief to 50% which in some cases would necessitate finding more than £5000 for business rates. Obviously, a new bill for £5000 is not easy for any business to cope with, however when your average spend is under £10 this could be a make or break situation.
There is of course the Draft Budget for 2017/2018 which proposes raising the eligibility threshold for 100% relief to a rateable value of £15,000. Therefore, some businesses who were previously having to pay business rates may actually find they and now eligible for the 100% relief. Others who had gone over the initial £10,000 threshold in the revaluation now find they are still eligible so nothing has changed for them.
Local residents supporting local shopkeepers is vitally important for the community as is the support of local businesses to local schools and community groups. Auchterarder and the surrounding area has a great support network between the local communities and businesses based within them.
It is to be hoped that the revaluation of Business Rates within the area does nothing to damage that relationship.