Businesses ‘at risk of stagnation’ if rates hike goes ahead, claims Hackney Council

Cllr Guy Nicholson, cabinet member for regeneration

Cllr Guy Nicholson, cabinet member for regeneration - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council has urged the government to rethink its planned increase to business rates - which they claim could see thriving business communities here “slide into stagnation” if hundreds of businesses are suddenly hit with huge bills.

Current proposals could see more a rise in rates of between £10,000 and £100,000 for more than 370 businesses in Hackney from April, with some facing an even greater hike.

Further rises could then take place each year until 2021.

The situation follows a national revaluation of ‘rateable values’ - which is the estimated value of a business property on the open market, and what business rates are based on.

The council claims this could threaten the new creative clusters around Tech City as well as traditional businesses which have been around for years.

Hackney has seen an average increase of 46 per cent in rateable value since 2010 – the highest in the country, and five times the average in England.

In a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond, the council’s business chief Cllr Guy Nicholson states: “Hackney’s economic success over the past decade has seen a large increase in property values and rents, particularly around Shoreditch.

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“This rapid increase has distorted the borough’s revaluation and ignores the reality that many of its businesses have not seen an equivalent rise in profits to accommodate such a massive increase in rates alongside rising commercial rents.

“One of London’s most popular and innovative boroughs to invest into and do business in is now at real risk of sliding into stagnation, forcing relocation instead of expansion, and replacing job creation and thriving business clusters with unemployment and empty buildings.”