There was bittersweet news for fashion independents in Chancellor Alistair Darling’s pre-election Budget on Wednesday.
The Government pledged to support 100,000 small retail businesses by providing a year-long business rate exemption but also implemented a 2.2% increase in the minimum wage to £5.93 an hour.
The Government said that businesses occupying properties with rateable values of up to £6,000 will be eligible for a 12-month business rate exemption from October.
It also laid out several other plans to help small to medium-sized businesses, including a £2.5bn one-off growth package.
Nationalised banks Lloyds and RBS have also been instructed by the Government to provide £94bn of business loans for small and medium-sized companies.
The Chancellor also said he would increase the relief on Capital Gains Tax for entrepreneurs.
British Shops and Stores Association (BHF-BSSA Group) chief executive Alan Hawkins said that the organisation was pleased with the help offered for independents in the Chancellor’s Budget.
“No change to VAT or income tax is good news but I worry that after the election they will say it is worse than they thought and reverse it,”he warned.