The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has urged the government to implement promised rates relief at the earliest opportunity to support businesses facing huge rates increases.
Sector-specific relief for pubs and discretionary relief for those businesses hardest hit were promised at this year's Spring Budget, but the association says many businesses have not yet received the funds.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "It is absolutely vital that rates relief is distributed to those businesses most in need as soon as possible. The whole point of the relief was to target those companies most at risk as a result of huge rates rises, so the urgency is self-evident. Although some businesses have been told that they may be receiving discretionary relief, the implementation has been very slow.
"Businesses need certainty if they are going to plan their budgets and set their level of investment accurately. If the government states that it is going to support hardworking businesses, then it needs to follow through with its commitment and back those employers who are facing massive rates increases.
"We have repeatedly urged our members to contact local authorities who will be beginning to allocate their discretionary relief funds. Pubs and restaurants should make sure they are in touch with their local authorities immediately to ensure they are at the front of the queue when the discretionary relief begins to flow through."
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