Business Feedback – Case Studies

Business from across the country have been telling us how much business rates affect them – we have included some of their stories below, to show the scale of the problem.

Tell us how business rates impact upon you

We are gathering feedback from businesses of all types and sizes and will use this information to help with the campaign. Let us know how the current business rates system impacts upon you by completing the form (opens in a new window). Please note you can choose how this information is used when you complete the form.

You can also make a public declaration of support – click here to view the current list and find out more.

Tiverton Hotel Ltd, Devon

“In the latest review, our rateable value declined slightly but nevertheless it is worth noting our rates have more than doubled over the past 10 years. This increase has detrimentally affected our capital investment plans.”

Treworgey Cottages, Cornwall

“The huge rise in business rates since 2017 means we will no longer be able to continue with the level of improvements to quality that we’ve made each year over the last 40 years.

“This will affect the work we can offer to tradespeople each year and in the long term, we expect it to affect our bookings. If the business rates do not become more reasonable, we expect to have to consider the viability of our business in the long term.”

Kernock Cottages, Cornwall

“Having sold one house in 2016 (when our total rateable value was £13,750), our rateable value is now below £12,000 therefore currently eligible for 100% small business rate relief. We previously paid over £6000.
“The £12,001 threshold is a disincentive for us to invest in any further expansion. We had intended to add a Shepherd’s hut as ancillary bedroom accommodation for our popular wheelchair-accessible cottage, but this would have been revenue neutral because of the business rates impact of going over the threshold.”

Hedgehog Corner, Devon

“Business rates went up so much at revaluation from £88pm to £288pm – literally overnight I shut the property at a second address ASAP to bring my business back under the Small Business Rate Relief threshold and put the second address property back to a residential let. I am fortunate I was able to flip it as many only have holiday let planning permission & can’t do this!”

Broomhill Manor Country Estate, Cornwall

“After paying our VAT bill, our business rates are almost exactly 10% of our gross receipts and represent our largest single monthly outlay excluding our business mortgage payments.

“This is a massive amount of money to find for something from which we derive no direct benefit. Our market is extremely tough at the moment: the rise of new competitive channels such as Airbnb, the vast majority of whose accommodation providers pay neither business rates or VAT, makes trading conditions hard.”

Millook (Holiday Accommodation), Cornwall

“If the Valuation Office Agency continues to proceed at the current valuation, I will simply have to discontinue with my business, which would mean no VAT, no tax, no business rates. No commission for my agent, no work for my manager, no money for the linen company and less money to the community. A lose-lose situation for everyone. Especially the tax man.”

Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, Devon

“We pay far too much and for our business. It is not proportionate to the meagre income we generate. Trying to have it reviewed under the new system is also a nightmare. Our trade is down – yet our rateable value is up. We try hard and employ people all year round, yet are penalised.”

Cossington Park, Somerset

“Business rates make us financially unviable. Since the Government changed the Furnished Holiday Let rules, losses at Cossington Park can no longer be off-set with profits from my other activities (as they could for any other trading business), and I am therefore planning to close, sell or change use this year.”

The Five Bells Inn, Devon

“Business rates take up money which could be far better used to employ more staff or invest in the business. It’s a particular problem for pubs with accommodation as, with council tax charged as well, you’re basically paying twice for the same service.”

Spreacombe Estate Company Ltd, Devon

“Business rates is one of the single largest bills. If our holiday bungalows were rated separately, they would be below the threshold. We are only open six months per year and we have low rents as the bungalows are 1970’s. Lower profit means there is less chance to improve, less employment of tradespeople, contractors etc.”

Oak Mead Pitch and Putt and café, Devon

“I pay my employees a good wage and this leaves me with a small profit. We have had a challenging year or two, based on the increase of overheads and a reduction of families wanting to spend money on recreation. I’m very worried that the huge increase in business rates will leave me in a challenging position. I really don’t want to be another of those closed down businesses.”

Higher Wiscombe, Colyton, Devon

“Our actual bill for business rates equates to 10% of gross turnover. This is too high a burden on a rural business, when others are paying either very little or zero.”

Carlton Hotel, Ilfracombe

“Clearly, business rates assist in provision of general and community services such as fire and police protection – however, being a low consumer of these services the current charge seems disproportionate .

“We pay separately for other central services, public licencing, waste collection and similar i.e. as we use them. I wouldn’t mind paying more if I felt the district / county councils would direct spending into sustainable business in the community, thus re-energising the area. I worry that if the burden of business rates is shifted further and the rateable value increases again, we will not be able to trade successfully. Many other local and small traders get 100% relief which means surely the burden is shared even more disproportionately. The shift to online trading will only make this more acute.”

The Original Cottage Company, Norfolk

“We are seeing a number of businesses that let their properties with us who are struggling under the weight of the increased business rates. This threatens the number of complexes that will let through our business. We are also seeing the effect on the high street in the towns and villages where we operate, as retail businesses and essential services for holidaymakers are disappearing.”

Royal Glen Hotel, Devon

“The bottom line directly affects continual annual reinvestment to keep open and remain an employer.”

Luscombe Drinks Limited, Devon

“Business rates have a considerable impact, which contributes to rising cost of goods sold, thereby reducing commercial viability of products.”

The Donkey Sanctuary, Devon

“Additional overheads affects the number of staff we can employ – this then has a direct impact on customer service.”