How Pub Partners can take the pain out of business rates
Date added: Wed, 28/08/2019 - 12:35
Business rates are a headache for many small businesses and in some cases, a threat to their very existence. We have partnered with property consultants Gerald Eve, to help steer Pub Partners through the complexities of business rates and the appeal process.
Business rates are a tax on property used for business purposes and apply to a variety of business-types, including offices, shops, pubs, and warehouses. The last revaluation conducted by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) came into effect on 1 April 2017, and caused concern for many pub owners, who have seen rates rise at an alarming rate.
Thankfully, help is at hand for Greene King Pub Partners, through Gerald Eve’s support.
Claire Sapsed, a multiple operator running The Moorings in Sowerby Bridge, feared losing her pub when her business rates bill rose sharply. However, with help from Gerald Eve, a successful appeal saw her bill halved – and she has urged other publicans to consider appealing.
Claire saw her rateable value at the pub assessed at £60,000, following a revaluation by the VOA. She was told there was no prospect of getting it reduced.
The pub had an investment with Greene King Pub Partners in spring of 2018 and was trading well, but the rates were a big concern.
“Everything was going really well but we just couldn’t keep on top of the business rates. It just wasn’t sustainable and so my estates manager Sarah Waddington advised me to speak to Gerald Eve.
“I had a chat with them and they felt it wasn’t a fair valuation and said they would help me appeal.”
Claire says she was a matter of months away from losing The Moorings, yet it took just a couple of months to receive a call from Gerald Eve informing her that her appeal had been successful.
Thanks to the appeal, her pub’s rateable value dropped from £60,000 to £31,350. The reduction to below £51,000 also gave Claire the option of claiming a further third off the rates bill for the next two years, under the Retail Discount scheme, which would bring the bill down to around £12,000 per year.
“I was so overwhelmed I had to take myself to one side and pull myself together,” she says. “It was such a scary thought. I could have lost everything.”
Claire’s experience using Gerald Eve turned around her fortunes and she naturally encourages other Greene King Pub Partners to consider the appeal route.
“You’ve got an expert there who can say whether you’ve got a realistic case. If Gerald Eve think it’s a fair valuation, they will be honest, but if they think you have a case they will support you.”