Budget 2019: Short shrift for medium sized business, says hotelier

Budget 2019, medium sized business, the pier, harwich,
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It’s time to take the bull by the horns, it seems. Business rates, more specifically the rateable value, is under challenge in Harwich as one hotel-cum-pub owner has gone to a tribunal over a rise that has seen him stump up £160,000 per year instead of the previous £100,000. Either option would make normal eyes water but in this case it made Paul Milsom ‘physically sick’.

The managing director of an East Anglian chain of hotel and restaurants has said that the business rates system is now“at breaking point,” and is “massively damaging” medium-sized businesses within the UK’s hospitality sector.

Paul Milsom of Suffolk’s Misom Hotels is preparing for a tribunal in which he plans to fight The Pierthe rate assessment of The Pier in Harwich, whose rateable value last year rose a staggering 55 per cent, from £100,000 to £160,000.

“In my over 30 years running this business, it’s the single hardest hit we have taken overnight,” he told the East Anglian Daily Times.” Milsom added that he felt “physically sick” when he was first made aware of the rise,attributed to the treasury reclassifying The Pier’s primary use as a hotel to a pub.

“Pubs have a different way of rating to hotels, which led us to such a ridiculously high rate,” he explained.“But the fact is the Pier operates in exactly the same way Milsoms [a company-owned hotel in Dedham] does, which was rated as a hotel.”

And whilst the chancellor’s recent budget details rates relief for lower-value retail businesses, Milsom is adamant that larger private enterprises such as his own are still being shafted.

“We’re going to lose money or break even, when we should be making a profit,” he lamented. “The budget was great for small businesses, but it’s the medium business that are hurting the most.”

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