The business rate values of Sheffield city centre’s most expensive stores are more than £1 million a year, The Star can reveal.
Stores including John Lewis and Marks & Spencer are faced with eye-watering annual sums to trade in Sheffield’s S1 postcode, according to the Government’s Valuation Office Agency website.
The Star’s Save Our High Street campaign has been pushing for a Government review of rates, backed by traders.
The most expensive city centre store for business rates is John Lewis in Barker’s Pool, which has a rateable value of £1,790,000 per year, as set in 2010.
The value is used to determine what the store pays every year, set by Government and local council.
Based on the standard 2014-15 rate of 48.2p in the pound, John Lewis would pay £862,780 a year in business rates on its £1.7 million value.
The next-highest rateable value is Debenhams on The Moor at £1,210,000 per year, followed by Marks & Spencer on Fargate at £1,100,000.
Other expensive rateable values in Sheffield include Marks & Spencer in Meadowhall at £2,440,000 and Debenhams in Meadowhall at £2,150,000.
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce executive director Richard Wright said: “These are massive numbers to find before you’ve even started doing anything. I don’t know that they can afford it. Margins are tight in this economy.
“Whether you are large or small, you should be treated fairly.
The business rates petition has already gone past the 1,500 signatures mark.
Comments include Susan Allsop, from Sheffield, who said: “I run a small business and it is hard enough to get a decent living out of it, and even harder with the crippling business rates we have to pay.”
n To sign the petition, visit http://tiny.cc/skgwox