UK Booksellers Urge Labour: Reform Unfair Business Rates

Booksellers in the UK are urging the new Labour government to address what they perceive as unjust business rates that severely impact small businesses, as reported by The

Kate Skipper, COO of Waterstones, stated, “We call on the new government to prioritize reforming the outdated and inequitable business rates system, which currently stifles town and city centers.”

She continued, emphasizing, “The current system is archaic, unfair, and detrimental to the vitality of high streets and their surrounding communities. Reforming it will foster local regeneration and stimulate job creation.”

Sam Taylor, co-founder of Max Minerva’s bookshop in Bristol, expressed his hopes for broader support for public and school libraries, increased emphasis on arts education, and recognition of the creative sector’s economic significance. Regarding business rates, he criticized their disproportionate burden on small enterprises, noting how independent bookshops often pay more per square foot than Amazon warehouses.

Taylor voiced skepticism about rapid changes but stressed the urgency of repairing the damage inflicted over the past 14 years on high streets and local businesses.

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association, highlighted the association’s readiness to collaborate with the Labour government on initiatives promised in its manifesto to improve high streets and the business environment.

Halls also emphasized the importance of ongoing dialogue with Labour Ministers and officials on issues critical to the book trade, such as copyright and the impact of AI, expressing optimism about a return to effective governance after a prolonged period of uncertainty.

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The post UK Booksellers Urge Labour: Reform Unfair Business Rates first appeared on Good e-Reader.

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