Almost 300,000 retailers, pubs and restaurants are expected to save £272m in taxes this year due to the Government’s small business rates discount, high streets minister Penny Mordaunt revealed.
The Government has offered firms a £1,000 business rates discount for all retail premises with a ratable value of up to £50,000 since April, which was announced as part of a £1bn business rates package in the Autumn Statement last year.
It is expected to save retail premises £272m, reducing the burden of business rates and helping to revive struggling high streets.
In her first public speech at the British Council of Shopping Centres retail property event since taking up the role in July, she said: “We must help all respond to the needs and wants of the consumer so the high streets remain at the heart of our communities - more than simply places to shop.”
Mordaunt urged the retail industry to “stay engaged” to ensure a sustainable future for the high streets.
She said high streets are at a turning point, as long as the momentum currently being done across the UK to improve high streets continues.
Mordaunt succeeded Brandon Lewis as high streets minister as part of the cabinet reshuffle in July.
She is currently leading the Great British High Street Awards. “Applications have demonstrated that many high streets are striving,” she added.
Business rates are a huge concern for retailers which say the high cost restricts investment and job creation.
The Government unveiled a £1bn package of business rates discounts in the Autumn Statement last year, which included the £1,000 discount, as well as capping business rates increases at 2% rather than the expected 3.2% rise.