Revo Chief Executive Vivienne Kine has written an open letter for support to Revo’s campaign to cut business rates and in doing so, help to secure the future of retail places.
The letter reads: “The lockdowns have exposed and accelerated the vulnerability of high street and town centre retail to the advantage of online sales. Whilst market competition is a positive for our economy, high street retailers should not have to pay such high levels of business rates which puts online retail at an unfair advantage.
“In 2020, Revo launched a campaign to cut and reform business rates for retail property. We are having a significant impact on the Government – by provoking parliamentary debates, organising events at party conferences, meeting with Treasury officials and hosting MPs at profile-raising activities at shopping centres around the country.”
Revo has launched a new phase in this campaign, the “Shopkeepers Campaign”, which aims to draw in everyone connected to retail and retail property. Ms King has asked people in the industry to contact their MP and call for the urgent reform of business rates.
The letter continues: “Since their introduction, business rates have increased by almost 50 per cent and are the largest fixed cost paid by UK retailers. They have contributed to the closure of many of well known and loved high street names, leading to job losses and the loss of community vibrancy. We have seen many of our local stores shut for good during the Covid-19 pandemic and many others are holding on by a thread. The advantage that online sales has had over the high street for many years has now been exposed, and reform of the business rates system is desperately needed. We all want to see high streets and local employment thriving in these stores for years to come.
“By making sure MPs put the case for retail, they can influence the Government’s Fundamental Review of Business Rates which will conclude on the 3rd March. The more influence that is brought to bear, the greater the likelihood of fundamental reforms being brought forward, so that shops can operate with a lower cost base long into the future and thereby ensure their viability.”