Call for reform to business rates in Budget

A review of business rates which cripple small businesses must be among the headlines in tomorrow’s Budget, a Lancashire business leader has said.

Norman Tenray, Chief Executive of OBAS UK, the Longridge-based construction group, said Chancellor Rishi Sunak had an opportunity to support the firms which employ millions of people across the country.

The Government announced discounts in rates during last year’s Queen’s Speech but many business groups including the British Chambers of Commerce has called for greater reform.

OBAS UK is sponsoring the Small Business of the Year award at The BIBAs, the awards which close for applications from firms across Lancashire later this month.

Mr Tenray said: “Business rates are the enemy of growth and investment and a completely outdated system which needs a complete overhaul.

“The short-term relief the Government offered last year is a start, but it cannot stop there, it must remove the costs which prevent businesses from creating jobs and prosperity for our economy.

“We need to see a package of fiscal measures which stimulate investment and complete moratorium on all new up-front costs for businesses for the duration of this Parliament.

“Few Chancellors will ever be in the position Mr Sunak is today and he must use this strength to the advantage of small businesses.”

The BIBAs is the awards known as ‘the one they all want to win’ across the Lancashire business community and has 20 prizes up for grabs for businesses of all sectors and all sizes. The deadline for applications closes on Friday, March 27.

Following the deadline, the awards’ organisers, the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, will review entries to ensure they meet the entry criteria before handing them over to its judging panels.

The judges will then sift applications to decide which will be invited to a face-to-face interview with applicants informed on May 1.

The first round of judging gets underway from May 11 with the Manufacturer of the Year and Exporter of the Year judging panels first up, led by category sponsors Commercial Kitchen Services (CKS) and Team Leyland International respectively.

For full details and to enter, visit www.thebibas.co.uk.

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If you want to give your business a bigger competitive edge, enter the BIBAs today.

Closing Date: 27th March 2020