Petition asks for rates relief for pop-up businesses

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Renting, Small business, Business

The chief executive of Boxpark (pictured) is leading the petition to change the law around business rates for pop-ups
The chief executive of Boxpark (pictured) is leading the petition to change the law around business rates for pop-ups
A petition has been launched urging retailers of ‘pop-up’ premises to be able to qualify for three months business rates relief, according to BigHospitality's sister publication M&C Report. 

The petition, which is supported by private members club operator Rushmore Group among others, is aimed at Adrian Bailey, an influential MP and chairman of the Business, Innovation & Skills Committee.

Headed by Roger Wade, chief executive of Boxpark, which operates a pop-up mall in Shoreditch, London the campaign is also being backed by Bill Grimsey, the former Iceland chief executive who recently published a report on the future of high streets.

Wade said: “The Government should be encouraging pop-up units across Britain. This is potentially a sustainable solution to revitalising our empty high streets. Pop-ups are the future breeding ground for the next generation of independent retailers."

Rate relief

Wade said the Government should offer business rates relief for qualifying small business pop-up tenants with each qualifying small business tenant able to claim up to three months rates relief once per calendar year. 

“The current business rates relief scheme allows landlords to qualify for up to three months rates relief if they let empty units BUT the small business tenants are still responsible for paying rates if the rateable value is above £6,000," he said. 

“This system is totally one sided because it does not encourage small businesses to rent empty shops. The suggested scheme encourages both the landlord and tenant to fill empty units.

“The long-term objective is to encourage small independent businesses to trial pop up stores. After a three-month period the tenant will be then liable for commercial rental terms and business rates."

Under the scheme Wade said small business tenants would be able to test out retail concepts at relatively low set up costs and the landlord would be able to fill empty units and qualify for up to three months business rates relief as well as and hopefully develop a long-term tenant.

"The Government can fill empty stores and hopefully after three months generate long-term business rates on empty stores," he added. 

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