Standing up for the High Street: Villiers welcomes business rate help for local businesses

Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, has welcomed the news that small businesses in Barnet could save thousands of pounds on their business rates thanks to the latest Budget. 

From April 2017, small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will pay no business rates. In Barnet, this would include small office-based businesses. Additionally, only businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000 will now have to pay the higher business rate. This takes some businesses, including smaller pubs and cafes, out of the higher bracket.

Theresa Villiers said: “I have been campaigning for many years to support the high street and I welcome this new help with business rates. Whether we are talking about cafes, pubs, shops or office-based businesses, these independent enterprises are the lifeblood of our community. It is good news that a number of these local businesses will be saving money on their business rates thanks to this Budget.”

On Friday, Theresa Villiers and High Barnet ward councillor, David Longstaff, took London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith to meet businesses in the high street and visited the Spires to talk through the planned redevelopment.

Theresa Villiers said: “We had helpful discussions on the issues facing local shop owners, and on the future of the Spires. Not all of these issues have easy solutions, but it was good to discuss the options with Zac. Members of the public we spoke to were reassured to hear of plans to improve the Spires and bring in prestigious new retailers. It was good to welcome Zac to Barnet. As MP for Richmond Park, he really understands the suburbs and shares our priorities.”

Zac Goldsmith said: "It was a privilege to visit Chipping Barnet and I had some very productive discussions with local businesses about issues affecting the High Street. It was extremely encouraging to be shown plans for the redevelopment of the Spires shopping centre which will attract more people to the local area.

‘Boris supported Barnet’s high streets and as Mayor I want to continue his legacy to boost economic growth and bring the buzz back to the high street. That’s why I will stand up for Barnet’s local economy by extending superfast broadband and promoting low cost office space. Only with me as Mayor will London’s businesses have a stable environment in which to grow. One of my key priorities will be local town centres, and my visit to Chipping Barnet shows just how important this is"