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ALMR welcomes Budget steps to ease business burdens and encourage investment

ALMR Press Notice 08.03.2017

ALMR welcomes Budget steps to ease business burdens and encourage investment

Budget Statement delivers on key ALMR asks:
• Sector-specific relief – introduction of relief for pubs
• Help for businesses hardest hit – £300m pot for local authorities available to restaurants
• Root and branch reform of rates system – a commitment to medium term reform of the system to address the imbalance between high street and “click and mortar” businesses

The ALMR has welcomed the Government’s Budget Statement and steps to address business rates inequality for pubs and bars and to promote growth and investment across the UK’s businesses.

The ALMR has been at the forefront of the campaign to reduce business rates burdens for licensed hospitality businesses and safeguard investment and jobs.

The ALMR has also urged the Government to follow up on its ambition of making the UK the most attractive place to invest with a detailed plan to address wider business costs.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:

“The Chancellor has stated that he wants to make the UK the most attractive place in the world to do business. Cuts to Corporation Tax will help hardworking and successful businesses continue to grow and invest in their teams, but it must form part of a wider strategy on business tax.

“If the Chancellor is serious about encouraging investment then we need to see a detailed blueprint of how it is to be achieved and how this links with the Government’s wider industrial strategy.

“It is very encouraging to see the Government acknowledge and back the valuable work being carried out by the UK’s hardworking pubs, bars and restaurants. Sector-specific relief will help those businesses hardest hit by the revaluation. This much-needed Government support will save the sector over £24m and will help safeguard investment and jobs. We are pleased to see the Government acknowledge the issue and act positively to support a crucial growth champion and a sector with turnover of £60bn employing over 1.5 million. The £300m worth of relief made available to local authorities will also be crucial for addressing costs for hardworking, entrepreneurial restaurants also facing increased rates bills.

“The ALMR has been spearheading the campaign for business rates reform for a few years and we have been incredibly vocal on this issue over the past few months. The ALMR has been actively campaigning non-stop since September and helped coordinate a campaign as the voice of the sector at key meetings with Ministers and MPs. The ALMR’s Budget campaign focused on securing immediate support for those businesses hardest hit and facing the biggest increases and this is a good first step on the road to permanent reform.

“The next step is for the Government to instigate the long term, root and branch reform that is needed for pubs and bars. The Chancellor indicated that the Government will look at more frequent revaluations, something the ALMR has been pushing for, and we look forward to working with him going forward.”

Ends
Notes for editors
1. The ALMR (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers) is the only national trade body dedicated to representing the interests of licensed hospitality operators.
2. The ALMR’s membership – pub, club, bar and casual dining operators – run 23,000 outlets and employ over 650,000 employees, together they account for almost all managed pubs in the UK as well as leading casual dining chains and nightclubs.
3. Two-thirds of our members are small independent companies operating 50 outlets of fewer under their own branding, but our membership also includes some of the largest high street operators including: JD Wetherspoon, Spirit, Casual Dining Group and Carluccio’s, with well-known branded outlets such as: All Bar One, Slug & Lettuce, TGI Fridays and Harvester.
4. For more information please contact the office on 0208 579 2080 or visit www.almr.org.uk.