With national media now campaigning to save the high street, Olly Gully believes the focus should be a reduction in business rates, and a promotion of business-minded individuals in local government.
If councils want to collect such high business rates, they need to also support the businesses that pay it. This is the message from Tyler Shaw of Shaws Premier Amusements in this week’s issue from Coinslot, and it is a message that would go a long way to helping Britain’s high streets.
At the start of this month, the Daily Mail kicked off a campaign to ‘save the high street’, taking aim at online companies, such as Amazon,who apparently pay 0.6 percent of their revenue in business rates,compared with the 2.3 percent paid by businesses on the high street. However, although all companies should be paying their way equitably, more money to the local council is not going to help if they don’t know how to spend it.
Indeed,while there is no doubt that some high street businesses have been slow to adapt to the changing retail market, it hardly makes a difference if the council proposes road works in the middle of the busy season, or allows the street to become unwelcoming for potential shoppers.
This is the current situation in parts of Bridlington, where Tyler Shaw operates, and it is also the situation in many other parts of the country,where only the most durable business models – cafes, pubs, and amusements – are surviving. No doubt a reduction in business rates would help many retailers, but perhaps more impactful would be the addition of business nous to every council in the country.