Budget offers hope to the High Street

Categories: Salford Business School

Dr Gordon Fletcher, retail expert from the University of Salford Business School, says the budget, announced on Wednesday, will offer hope to the high street.

Reacting to the budget announcement, he said: “In what will inevitably labelled as the coronavirus budget the chancellor offered some hope for the high street in among the high levels of infrastructure and health spending.

“By abolishing rates for small businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors one of the key frustrations for business owners and industry bodies has been addressed. The announcement will support and potentially encourage entrepreneurial even experimental start-ups in these sectors.

“Removing a high fixed cost from the inevitably wobbly turnover of a new business lets new entrepreneurs focus on delivering excellent experience and engagement with their customers rather than being forced to make quick sales based around the lowest price and is unsustainable against larger and better established online and offline competitors.

“The wider commitment to public infrastructure spending will also bring indirect benefits in helping to build and revitalise sense of place around the high street and encourage consumers back to town centres. The fixing of rates for pubs also supports a particular form of place making. With a fixed rates bill some pubs will be encouraged to stay open during twilight and help to bridge the night time economy of town centres with its day time offerings.

“While the UK braces itself for a pause in public activity many of the larger high street retailers who will not directly benefit from today's announcements are facing a tough trading environment that will be felt on the bottom line.”

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