SRC Calls for Pragmatic Measures to Prevent Soaring Business Rates in Scotland


SRC Calls for Pragmatic Measures to Prevent Soaring Business Rates in Scotland


SRC Calls for Pragmatic Measures to Prevent Soaring Business Rates in Scotland


In recent years, soaring business rates have become a growing concern for businesses in Scotland. The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has called for pragmatic measures to prevent further increases and alleviate the burden on struggling businesses. This article will explore the impact of soaring business rates, the factors contributing to their rise, and the proposed solutions put forth by the SRC.

The Impact of Soaring Business Rates in Scotland

The Struggle of Small Businesses

Small businesses in Scotland have been hit hard by rising business rates. With limited resources and tight profit margins, these businesses often find it challenging to absorb the increased costs. Many have been forced to close down or reduce their operations, leading to job losses and a decline in entrepreneurial activity.

The Decline in High Street Retail

The rise in business rates has also contributed to the decline of high street retail in Scotland. As traditional brick-and-mortar stores struggle to compete with online retailers, the additional financial burden of high business rates puts them at an even greater disadvantage. This has resulted in empty storefronts and a loss of vibrancy in town centers across the country.

Factors Contributing to the Rise in Business Rates

Valuation Methods

The method used to determine the value of properties for business rates purposes has been a contentious issue. Some argue that the current system, based on rateable values, fails to accurately reflect the economic realities faced by businesses. Others believe that a more frequent revaluation process is needed to ensure fairness and accuracy in the assessment.

Wider Economic Challenges

The increase in business rates is not solely influenced by valuation methods. Scotland’s broader economic challenges, such as sluggish growth and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, have also contributed to the rising rates. As the government tries to balance its budget, businesses often bear the brunt of the cost through increased rates.

The SRC’s Pragmatic Approach

Recognizing the detrimental impact of rising business rates, the SRC has proposed a pragmatic approach to alleviate the burden on businesses and promote sustainable economic growth.

Revaluation Frequency

The SRC suggests more frequent revaluations to ensure that rateable values reflect current market conditions. By reducing the gap between valuations, businesses can benefit from fairer and more accurate assessments of their rateable values.

Targeted Relief Measures

The SRC also calls for targeted relief measures to support struggling businesses. This includes offering additional relief for small businesses and those operating in areas with high vacancy rates. By tailoring relief measures to specific needs, the burden of business rates can be reduced for those most at risk.

Collaborating with Local Authorities

The SRC recognizes the importance of collaboration between businesses and local authorities in addressing the challenges posed by soaring business rates. By working together, innovative solutions can be developed to support businesses and create a more favorable business environment.

Case Studies: Successful Regional Initiatives

To demonstrate the effectiveness of pragmatic measures, this section highlights two successful regional initiatives in Scotland.

Dundee’s Business Improvement District

Dundee’s Business Improvement District (BID) has been instrumental in revitalizing the city’s business landscape. By pooling resources and working collectively, local businesses have been able to implement initiatives to drive footfall and attract customers. This has helped boost the local economy and alleviate the impact of high business rates.

Glasgow’s Small Business Bonus Scheme

Glasgow’s Small Business Bonus Scheme has provided much-needed relief to small businesses operating in the city. By offering reduced or zero rates for eligible businesses, the scheme has incentivized entrepreneurship and encouraged the growth of small enterprises. This has created a thriving business community that contributes to the overall economic development of Glasgow.

The Need for Cross-Party Consensus

Addressing the issue of soaring business rates requires a cross-party consensus. Political differences must be set aside, and a collaborative approach should be adopted to implement effective and sustainable solutions. By working together, policymakers can provide businesses with the stability and support they need to thrive.

The Importance of Long-Term Planning

To prevent future increases in business rates, long-term planning is essential. This includes considering the impact of policy decisions on businesses and evaluating the effectiveness of relief measures. By taking a strategic approach to business rates, policymakers can create an environment that fosters economic growth and supports businesses of all sizes.

Stakeholder Engagement: The Role of Business Communities

Engaging with business communities is crucial in developing effective policies and initiatives. By actively involving businesses in the decision-making process, policymakers can gain valuable insights into the challenges faced by the business community. This collaboration can lead to the development of tailored solutions that address the specific needs of businesses in Scotland.

The Benefits of a Vibrant Business Landscape

A vibrant business landscape is not just beneficial for businesses; it also contributes to the overall well-being of a community. Thriving businesses provide employment opportunities, stimulate economic growth, and enhance the attractiveness of a region. By implementing pragmatic measures to prevent soaring business rates, Scotland can create a vibrant business landscape that benefits all stakeholders.


The Scottish Retail Consortium’s call for pragmatic measures to prevent soaring business rates in Scotland is timely and necessary. The impact of rising rates on small businesses and high street retail is undeniable, and urgent action is needed to alleviate the burden. By implementing targeted relief measures, collaborating with local authorities, and engaging with the business community, Scotland can create an environment that fosters sustainable economic growth and supports businesses of all sizes.


Q: What are business rates?

Business rates are a tax on non-residential properties in the UK. They are based on the rateable value of a property, which is determined by local authorities and updated periodically.

Q: How do business rates affect small businesses?

Small businesses often struggle to cope with the financial burden of high business rates. The increased costs can eat into their profit margins and make it challenging to compete with larger competitors.

Q: Can relief measures really make a difference?

Yes, targeted relief measures can provide much-needed support to struggling businesses. By reducing the burden of business rates, businesses can allocate resources to other areas, such as investment, employee wages, and growth initiatives.



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