In order to ensure that High Streets don't just survive but thrive, it is crucial that the government helps small businesses operate. I know from meetings with traders in Deal and Dover that there is much upset that charity shops are exempt from business rates but small businesses are hit hard by the local Council. I want there to be help for small businesses, so today asked the Minister what the Government will do on this;
Does the Minister recognise the frustration of high street traders in Dover and Deal, who have to pay high business rates while charity shops conducting business for profit get a complete exemption? The traders feel that that is an unfair competitive advantage and a distortion of the competitive playing field. Will Ministers examine the rightness and properness of the exemption?
It is right that charities receive relief, but we have temporarily doubled small business rate relief, too. That means that approximately a third of a million businesses, including many small independent shops, are currently paying no rates at all. We have also given councils powers to grant their own discounts, and they can use those powers to provide additional relief to other shops on the high street.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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