Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group urges PM to reform business rates

Sports Direct

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, formerly known as Sports Direct, has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to push for an “urgent fundamental review” into business rates.

The letter, signed by chief financial officer Chris Wootton, said the current business rates system results in many stores “paying the incorrect amount”, with some stores paying over the odds while others are “not paying as much as they should”.

The letter said the business rates relief that will be offered to small businesses as referenced in the Queen’s Speech last year, while welcome, “does not address the dire straits many of the medium and large stores on our high streets find themselves in”.

“We would note that it is the medium and large stores that drive footfall on to our high streets, which inherently benefits the smaller stores. When the key anchor stores fall away the high streets become desolate and smaller stores close as well. Improved rates relief or not, without footfall these smaller stores cannot survive,” the letter adds.

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