Small businesses operating on the UK high streets received some welcome news from the Autumn budget with the chancellor announcing a total £1.5billion of funding for high streets across the UK.
The funding is set to be split in to two pots:
£900million is set to be made immediately available in business rates relief for smaller businesses directly operating on the high street. Those with a property rental value of £51,000 or less could see their business rates cut by up to a third. The hope is that this will provide some relief to up to half a million small businesses in the face of changing consumer habits and the added competition from online businesses.
To note is the fact that business rates are devolved, meaning each of the nations will be responsible for deciding exactly how the funding is made available to small businesses
An additional £650million will also be made available to local authorities to rejuvenate the high street. The fund aims to help them to adapt and ready themselves for the future by investing in different areas such as transport links. Along with the additional funding, planning rules are also set to be relaxed to allow easier redevelopment of under used sites across high streets – this could mean we see more offices and homes across the high street.