UKHospitality, British Retail Consortium, Association of Convenience Stores, British Independent Retail Association and ukactive are warning that businesses, jobs and the future of high streets are at risk without the measures.
The sectors combine to pay more than £10bn in business rates a year. The inflation-linked increase to the business rates multiplier will cost retail businesses £480m and hospitality businesses £234m.
An end to current relief will cost hospitality £630m.
A recent survey of UKHospitality members showed that 66% of businesses would reduce investment, 61% would raise prices and 41% would reduce opening hours if rates relief was removed.
In a survey of BRC members, 66% of retailers responded that they were ‘very concerned’ about an increase in businesses rates, with 69% saying it would place ‘significant pressure’ on the prices paid by customers.
The joint letter warns of the ramifications of such dramatic increases in business rates, describing the removal of reliefs as ‘disastrous’, resulting in business failures, job losses and boarded up properties.
“Freezing rates and extending relief will be a lifeline for a sector that simply cannot absorb any more costs. Inaction will leave hospitality businesses with no choice but to put up prices, open less or, in the worst-case scenario, shut their doors for good,” says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.
“Pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels, to name a few, act as pillars of their communities and they want to continue in that central role, as well as driving economic growth and providing countless jobs. Action on business rates at the Autumn Statement is critical to that.”