28th October 2009 BCA and Bizspace host Empty Property Rates House of Commons Reception

This week the BCA continued its on-going campaign for the retention of the £15,000 Rateable Value (RV) threshold on Empty Property Rates, by holding its second House of Commons reception.

The reception, sponsored by Bizspace, saw the BCA board fiercely debate the issues surrounding the Empty Property Rates legislation on behalf of BCA members.

Over 50 cross-party MPs from a number of BCA member constituencies attended the reception.

The BCA board had a lively discussion with MPs on the negative effects the legislation has had on the flexible space market. They highlighted the impact that Empty Property Rates has had on the withdrawal of capital investment, the impact on SME’s as well as the growth to local economies and in particular local employment opportunities have suffered.

Gareth Evans, managing director of Bizspace, who co-sponsored the event, comments, “I believe as an absolute minimum the current £15,000RV must be retained at the very least for the next 12 months, otherwise the Government run the risk of stifling the development of new and existing business centres which are essential to meet the future needs of small businesses.

The BCA has lobbied against the change to the Empty Property Rates legislation on behalf of its members since its introduction in 2008.

Close supporter of the BCA Phil Wilson MP spoke at the House of Commons Reception and said: “The flexible space sector supports the growth of small and medium sized enterprises in this country, as well as maintaining the development and diversification of local economies.

“I worked closely with the BCA last year to ensure that the rateable value was maintained, and although this was seen by many as a temporary measure, I will be pressing that the £15,000 RV be written into the statute books or at the least maintained for another year.

“I will be speaking with Treasury Ministers to highlight that the current rateable value of £15,000 RV must be retained and written into the Chancellor’s pre-budget report.”

Jennifer Brooke, executive director of the BCA concludes: “The BCA House of Commons reception has given us a platform to inform MPs that any decrease to the £15,000RV in the Chancellor’s pre-budget report would threaten the survival of small businesses and has already proved to be high

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