Hoteliers in Bristol are adding their voices to calls for the Chancellor to take action to prevent a huge business rates bill next April.
Trade body UK Hospitality has warned that there could be an ‘insurmountable’ £864m bill and has urged businesses to write letters to their MPs calling for action ahead of next month’s Autumn Statement.
The Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) plans to write to local MPs asking for their support.
Business rates increase in line with inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for the previous September, which stood at 6.7% according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
UK Hospitality says the planned inflation-linked rise in April will amount to an additional £234m, while the ending of rates relief for the financial year 2023/24 would represent £630m.
Raphael Herzog, BHA chair, said: “UK Hospitality is calling on the Chancellor to freeze the business rates multiplier, and maintain the business rates relief for hospitality, which has amounted to up to £110,000 per business for each billing year.
“The potential business rates bills next April could be the final blow for some businesses, which is why we fully support UK Hospitality’s calls for the Chancellor to extend the current relief measures for a further year.
“The impact of Brexit, the pandemic-enforced lockdowns and soaring costs, especially around energy, have meant hospitality businesses have had an extremely difficult time over the past few years.
“We’ve all been trying so hard to recover from this ‘perfect storm’ but if the Chancellor doesn’t take action to support us, I fear that the rug could be pulled from beneath many businesses.
“We’ve had a fairly strong summer and, overall, we were cautiously optimistic about the future, but right now that looks quite bleak after the new figures from UK Hospitality.”
To find out more about the Bristol Hoteliers Association, visit, www.bristol-hoteliers.co.uk