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Council pleads for business rates rethink

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Croydon Council has warned the government’s business rates revaluation will stunt the borough’s growth and job creation at a time when it is on the cusp of economic success.

Borough firms face an average 19 per cent increase in their business rates at a time when they are also facing other costs such as the apprenticeship levy, auto enrolment for pensions and insurance premium tax.

The authority has written to Greg Clarke, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, warning of the effects on small businesses.

Signatories to the letter include Councillor Mark Watson, the borough’s cabinet member for economy for jobs, representatives from Croydon Businesss Network including the local business improvement districts, Croydon Tech City, the Federation of Small Businesses and Croydon Chamber of Commerce.

Councillor Watson said: “The proposed business rates increase leaves Croydon businesses in an extremely vulnerable position at a time when they should be being supported. A slowdown in growth for Croydon would not only impact badly on local businesses, but also on those in surrounding areas too.

“Croydon Council stands side by side with local businesses and calls on the Secretary of State to stop this attack and rethink the disproportionate increase it is proposing.

“We want the government to work with us to get the best possible outcome for Croydon businesses, which will continue the delivery of economic prosperity in the borough.”