18 April 2021
The Green Party has called on the government to provide more financial support for independent businesses by reversing its decision to stop Covid- related business rate appeals and extend the business rate holiday and current tourism VAT cut through 2021.
The call comes after it emerged last month that the government would legislate against the ability to appeal , which has granted small, independent businesses a lifeline amidst financial difficulties with lockdown restrictions not set to fully lift until the summer. Last December the Greens laid out their five point plan for small businesses to get back on their feet in the wake of the pandemic. 
Brighton & Hove City Councillor Martin Osborne said:
“Non-essential retail, hospitality and leisure are some of the sectors in the UK hardest hit by Covid-19 due to the nature of social distancing. It’s only right the government reverses its decision to stop appeals, extends business rates for a significant period of time and offers immediate financial support to those companies still losing money as a result of not being fully open.
“Many of these small businesses which are often family-run were struggling from online retailers before the pandemic began and for a year they have been pushed to the brink of closure. The long-term financial effects of having no business for such a prolonged period of time is a terrifying prospect.
“Our five point plan, which includes an extension to the business rate holiday and larger monthly grants, offers independent high-street businesses a route out of the hardship of the last 12 months, something the government continually fails to provide. The Green Party wants independent businesses to be at the heart of a Green recovery- we would facilitate this by lending at affordable rates and establishing a network of regional mutual banks, which would provide funding for locally-led economic initiatives and opportunities.”
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