News portfolio: Businesses on the waterfront suffer increases in business rates, while others pay none

As of April, 3338 businesses will pay no business rates at all under the small business rates relief. However, there have been pockets of areas where business rates have gone up instead.

By Shin Yiing Lee

Cafe 212 located in Brewery Wharf, has had their business rates increased by £100 a month, even though they were greatly affected by Storm Eva floods in 2015. This is due to the revaluation of properties based on rateable values from April 2015.

Jacob Kelly and Stuart Dixon, owners of Cafe 212 also revealed that they had to use VAT funds for repair works on damages caused by the floods. The business is also uninsured for floods as they are based on the waterfront. “A good suggestion would be for businesses in the flood risk area to pay lower business rates” said Jacob Kelly.

Stuart Dixon added: “We’re on private land and we have to pay for our own bins to be emptied, you know, we pay money for the lighting around here in the management fee so we don’t really understand what we really pay business rates for.”

Latitude and The Sandwich Bar, located five minutes away from the Brewery Wharf on The Calls, shared that they pay no business rates at all under the small business rates relief.

“Without the small business rates relief, we probably wouldn’t be able to function. It would cost an additional member of staff, so I would have to find enough business to cover that or reduce a member of staff” said Chris Hill, owner of Latitude.

“Brewery Wharf, because of the area that it is and because it’s part of the prime development for the city, business rates tend to be higher in that area” said Lyndsey Whitaker, West Yorkshire Development Manager from the National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses (FSB).

Lyndsey Whitaker also advises that business who are struggling to pay business rates may apply for the hardship fund from local authorities. Further support is also being given by Leeds City Council’s Flood Risk Management team, but only in regards to insurances and relocation. As of late, there is no plans to support businesses who face flood risks with business rate reliefs.

 

(365 words)

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