The Cambridge Satchel Company may be forced to close stores due to business rates

 
Helen Cahill
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Business rate changes will come into effect at the beginning of April (Source: Getty)

The Cambridge Satchel Company may have to close two out of six of its stores when business rates rise this year.

The high-end bag business has boutique outlets in the West End, Cambridge, Brighton and Edinburgh, but a hike in property taxes for the company, which comes into effect at the beginning of April, may force it to close some of its outlets.

Read more: Business reacts to government's relief measures for business rates

Julie Deane, founder of The Cambridge Satchel company, told the BBC:

We're looking at whether we can keep some of our shops... it is that clear. One shop might not sound like a lot, or possibly two. But that's two out of six.

Take a look at some of our high streets. It's not good for anybody if there is loads of empty space and charity shops stepping in there.

The government has revaluated business rates for the first time in seven years. The new rates are linked to rents, so in areas such as central London, where rents have rocketed, businesses are going to be hit with a substantial tax burden this year.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has pulled back on reforms to the repeals system, which would have made it difficult for businesses to claim tax rebates if there was a rating error.

Read more: Government hands over £2.5bn in quiet U-turn over business rates

In addition, the chancellor Philip Hammond has pledged a £300m relief fund, which will be distributed to local authorities and handed out over the next four years.

However, some ratings specialists have said that Hammond's actions do not go far enough, and that wholesale reform of the system is required.

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