Call for business rate relief extension because many Sheffield firms on “life support”

A Sheffield MP is calling for an extension to business rate relief as many were revealed to be operating at ‘critical’ levels across the city.

Friday, 26th February 2021, 4:45 pm

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, called to extend 100 percent businesses rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for at least a further six months as part of her ongoing ‘We’re Still Viable’ campaign to support local independent businesses.

She said: “So many businesses are struggling at the moment and the government should be doing all it can to support them through this crisis.

“These businesses were thriving before the pandemic and are still viable in the long-term but need the breathing space that a targeted business rates holiday would provide.

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Louise Haigh, the Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley

“Rishi Sunak took too long to give businesses clarity on support before, which led to avoidable closures and jobs lost.

“The chancellor must announce an extension to business rates now, not wait until the budget and risk even more job losses.”

Labour nationally is also calling for £1 billion investment in start-ups in areas like Yorkshire, which have been underfunded, to boost economic recovery.

It follows a Sheffield Council economic scrutiny committee meeting earlier this week in which Edward Highfield, director of city growth, said many businesses in the city were on “life support” and may not survive.

He presented data showing more than half of businesses in the events, hair and beauty, hospitality, health and social care, arts, entertainment and recreation and retail sectors were currently operating at ‘critical’ sales and booking levels.

For events, hair and beauty and hospitality this figure was three quarters or more.

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