Retailers have warned they face an £8bn hit when business rates relief comes to an end. A 12-month pause on shops' business rates was brought in when coronavirus struck, giving firms vital breathing space after they were forced to close their doors and reopen to far lower footfall than normal. However, Rishi Sunak has not extended the relief and from April companies will have to once again start paying rates based on the rental value of properties last assessed five years ago - many of which will be disproportionately high due to a plunge in the value of high street real estate as shoppers head online instead. The Government has already said that the next revaluation will take place in 2023, meaning firms could be stuck with massive bills for years.
Read more: The Daily Telegraph