James Heappey welcomes small business announcement

Prospective MP for Wells James Heappey has welcomed the Conservative Party’s commitment to support thriving small businesses, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Wells last week.

A Conservative majority Government will cut business rates for shops, cinemas and pubs - something which will have a huge impact on small businesses across the Wells Constituency.

Mr Heappey said: “I am pleased to see the Prime Minister’s visit to Wells has prompted such an ambitious announcement for our high streets.

“There are many local businesses who will benefit from this drop in business rates. It will be a very welcome shot in the arm for our local high streets.

“There are also some excellent small cinemas in the patch that will benefit and the cut in rates for pubs will be a real bonus for local landlords.”

The retail discount on business rates will be extended to 50 per cent next year. For businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000, this will increase the retail discount from 33 per cent to 50 per cent in 2021. This will also be extended to cinemas and music venues – easing their costs.

The ambitious package also includes plans to save pubs and post offices. Community groups who want to buy their local pubs and post offices will be backed with a £150m fund and a nine month ban on sale to other bidders.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, said: “For too long, too many towns and villages across Britain have been overlooked and left behind. When the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, many communities felt their voices had been heard for the first time in decades and their lives would improve.

“We will invest in these communities and help people put the heart back into the places they call home. We need to get Brexit done so that we can unleash the potential of all our towns, cities and villages. We will be able to save our high streets, keep pubs and post offices open and re-connect places to the rail network half a century after they were cut off.

“But that can only happen if we end the dither, delay and paralysis in Westminster. We need to get Brexit done so the country can move on. We need a Conservative majority government which will deliver for communities across Britain – not a Corbyn-Sturgeon alliance which would expend all its energy on two more chaotic referendums.”