Gareth Smyth, CEO of Hillton Smythe Group

Post Budget Comment: Hilton Smythe - Bolton

Gareth Smyth, CEO of Hilton Smythe Group in Bolton, said: “I was pleased to see the chancellor has chosen to abolished business rates in England for firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value below £51,000. This is great news for high street businesses, especially small independent operators. Rates are a huge cost for many businesses and this is welcomed news for many small independents.

“Pubs have struggled to get back to pre-smoking ban levels and many have closed, so business rate discounts is welcome news to publicans who will inevitably save money. I am concerned, however, that this may not go far enough to really fuel the growth of the sector.

“The reduction in entrepreneurs’ relief is a potentially huge blow for those looking to sell a business, especially when the sale price is £1M plus. The government have made a knee jerk decision with this one; instead of consulting for a better and more thoughtful change, they have waded in without proper thought and consideration. I hope the chancellor will go back into consultation on this before setting it in stone.”

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