Small retail businesses in England are set to benefit from a reduction to business rates, as announced in Budget 2018.

Business rates will be reduced by a third for many retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000 for two years from April 2019, subject to state aid limits.

The Chancellor said this would mean "an annual saving of £8,000 for up to 90% of all independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes".

While industry bodies have welcomed this boost, some have argued that wider reform is needed to benefit retailers.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

"Retailers are currently in the midst of a perfect storm of factors - technology changing how people shop, rising public policy costs and softening demand.

"Rather than tinkering around the edges, struggling high streets require wholesale reform of business rates in order to thrive.

"The issue remains that the business rates burden is simply too high."

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