Help us save our high street

APPEAL: At the rates campaign launch in Friargate are Rob Taylor, Andrea Mellon, Margaret Mason, Ian MacMillan, Sue Winstanley, and Jamie Hanson.
APPEAL: At the rates campaign launch in Friargate are Rob Taylor, Andrea Mellon, Margaret Mason, Ian MacMillan, Sue Winstanley, and Jamie Hanson.
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Have your say

Sign our petition to stop rates crippling British business.

The Lancashire Evening Post today demands that the Government launches a complete overhaul of business rates – an outdated system which is crippling our high street.

The LEP is joining forces with hundreds of its Johnston Press sister titles, as well as the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), to call for business rates to be frozen immediately and ask for an urgent review of the system.

Today we are asking readers to sign our petition, which urges the Government to think again about an unfair tax which has been increased by nearly £700m in the past three years, leaving traders with the highest property tax bills in Europe.

The campaign has been backed by traders in the city and by Preston’s Business Improvement District.

BID’s Mark Whittle said: “The Business Improvement District strongly supports the call for an overhaul of the outdated business rates system.”

Ashley Highfield, chief executive of Johnston Press, added: “Supporting communities – and the small businesses within those communities – is at the heart of what we do.

“We pride ourselves on the long-standing relationships we have in so many cities, towns, villages and hamlets where we are the trusted provider of local news and information services.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities and this campaign is aimed at helping them to survive in an ever more challenging environment.

“We support any initiative aimed at ensuring a healthy future for the small businesses that are so important to our local audiences.”

BID’s Mr Whittle added: “It’s vital that local businesses are given fair opportunity to compete and succeed; in order to facilitate that, business rates should be set fairly and accurately.

“We urge the authorities concerned to seriously look at the way business rates are calculated.”

Sign the petition here

You can read more on this story in today’s Lancashire Evening Post and tablet app