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Local shops and pubs could get a third extra off tax bill - Gov.UK, 1st April 14

As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, the biggest package of business rate support in over 20 years to help high streets goes live today (1 April 2014), Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced.

Many businesses already get 100% discount as a result of government policy. The tax changes that come into effect at the start of the new tax year mean nearly 300,000 eligible small shops in England will benefit further. In some cases this could give a typical small shop, pub or restaurant with a rateable value of £10,000 savings of 30% extra or more when compared to last year’s business rate bill.

(Read more,


Independent retailers plug high street gaps - The Guardian 25 Mar 14

Research shows the number of independent shops on British high streets has risen every year since 2009 - but growth is slowing. 

A beauty salon: across the country there was a net growth of 762 independent shops last year. Photograph Graham Turner for The Guardian.

Independent mobile phone shops, barbers, tailors and tattoo parlours are becoming the new linchpins of Britain's rapidly changing high streets as the exodus of chain stores continues. 

"As chains cut their links with high streets our towns are showing signs of reverting to older models of economic activity, where they serve the needs of physical customers in physical stores, alter their clothes, style their hair and mend their broken iPhones," said British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) deputy chief executive Michael Weedon. 

(Read more, www.the



Business booming on in Spennymoor, The Journal 18 March 2014

So many new businesses have set up on Cheapside in Spennymoor that it has been unofficially renamed Enterprise Street. 

A group of new business owners in a County Durham road have launched shops in the last few weeks at such a rate, it is being called Enterprise Street. 

The most recent business to open on Cheapside, Spennymoor, is The Cake House. It is owner Tracy Parnaby's first step into full-time self-employment after taking redundancy from Durham County Council. She was given a loan from Transmit Start-Ups which funded fixture and fittings needed to operate.

(Read more, www.the


£400 million boost for business and local economies 

See link to find out more about the governments long term plan to help the high street, announced by Communities Secretary Rt Hon Eric Pickles, Jan 2014.


Key points;

- £300 million to give 300,000 small retail firms £1000 off their next tax bill

- £100 million to support critical business infrastructure in enterprize zones

- £15 million to establish new university enterprise zones in the 8 main Uk cities



Fears grow for high street recovery as PPI payments begin to drop off - The Independent, 27 Jan 14

When the payouts by banks for misselling Payment Protection Insurance dry up the high street could be hit by a spending drought. 

Retailers including John Lewis, Currys PC World and Argos all hailed the previous six months as one of the strongest in recent years for sales of electricals and white goods, while retail sales according to the Office for National Statistics are also growing at record rates.

However, experts are suggesting the boost in spending is down, in part, to the extra £12.5bn in the economy paid out by banks for misselling Payment Protection Insurance and this could soon dry up. They are warning that with 70 per cent of payments already made, the speed of growth in retail could be hit as the payouts slow and wages continue to rise below inflation.

(Read more,