The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has warned high street restaurants that the Government’s proposed devolution of business rates powers could be unhelpful unless there are careful checks and balances in place.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls, pictured, said: “The Government’s decision to devolve power over business rates to local authorities is designed to boost the UK’s high streets but it could have unwelcome consequences for licensed hospitality businesses.
“Local authorities do not have a good track record applying discretionary rates or supporting businesses in their areas.
“Any changes that are made by the local authority should be done so in order to boost investment at a local level and increase accountability to local businesses.
“There is some concern that any concessions that are made will be given solely to big ticket investment or high tech, rather than the bulk of small and medium-sized enterprises.
“At present we have not been given any details of caps, checks, balances or challenges for businesses.
“We are hopeful that this development will incentivise business, but we will remain wary until we receive further details of the proposal.”