Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said –

“London’s retail, leisure and hospitality sectors have had a torrid year, with many businesses in a precarious financial situation despite the current financial support from the Government.

“Things could get a lot worse from 1 April as the business rates holiday comes to an end. In just 50 days from now, over 73,000 London businesses face a business rates bombshell that very few will be able to afford.

“Businesses can’t wait until the March budget to hear more from the Chancellor. As they plan for the difficult months ahead, they need the certainty of continuing financial support right now, and that includes an extension to the business rates holiday. If ministers act too late again, we’ll see even more venues decide to cut their losses and close permanently.

“COVID continues to expose the gaping unfairness between the small amount of tax paid by large online retailers and the rates paid by our struggling high street businesses. Until footfall on our high streets and tourism levels return in the future, ministers need unequivocally to rule out the business rates bombshell planned for April, and announce the decision today.”

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