One in five small businesses could close down or sell their business after changes to business rates shoot up in April.
Many small businesses are preparing to reduce staff costs to offset the rate rises, according to a new survey from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). More than half of those surveyed (54 per cent) expect their profits to fall as a direct result of the revaluation.
More than a third (36 per cent) of small firms expect to see their business rates increase from 1 April, while 44 per cent say their business rates will rise by more than £1,000 per year.
Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, pleaded with the chancellor to raise relief thresholds in his spring budget to offset the “unsustainable and unaffordable rises.”
“A small hardship fund designed to assist pockets of firms throughout the country would go a long way to resolving the anxiety felt within the small business community.”
Cherry also suggested that the chancellor should set up a cross-party commission to formulate a replacement business tax system linked ot the ability to pay.