Chancellor George Osborne should have done much more to help small businesses forced to deal with ‘extortionate’ rents, especially in London, according to one industry stalwart.
JJ Jackson (pictured), Managing Director of the Performing Artistes agency, said SMEs’ welfare should have been far higher up the Budget agenda. His comments add to similar views already voiced by Eventia-IVCA CEO Marco Forgione before the Budget. Forgione had been among a select band of industry leaders invited to the Bank of England pre-Budget for discussions on the economy.
Jackson said that George Osborne’s failure to tackle business rates in the Budget was “a glaring omission”.
“Our response to the Budget was broadly positive, but much more should have been done to tackle prohibitive business rates and planning,” he said.
“In London, in particular, business rates can exceed the cost of rent and are a serious consideration for companies such as Performing Artistes who are on the verge of moving and expanding.”
The Government has pledged to introduce business rate reform, although this revaluation is not expected to take place before 2017, according to business commentators.
“It’s a real shame that our Government doesn’t appear to be more favourably disposed towards the UK events sector, whose expertise is recognised worldwide and which generates billions of pounds for the British economy every year,” Jackson added.
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