Update: EPR and the Government’s Empty Offices
Following an announcement earlier this year, the government has begun offering unused office space to start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.
20 offices are to be made available in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, London, Oxford, Runcorn and Rugby, as well as 11 other locations across England.
It is hoped the move will inspire and support new business.
ΓÇ£Many entrepreneurs struggle to find a suitably flexible and affordable space to start their business,ΓÇ¥ explains Mark Prisk, Business and Enterprise Minister. ΓÇ£So this is a practical measure which the Government is taking to support the next generation of businesses.ΓÇ¥
The government scheme ΓÇô operated in co-operation with office owners around England ΓÇô is expected to help young businesses by reducing costs and providing business support services as part of the Business in You campaign.
ΓÇ£In some cases itΓÇÖs not possible to sell a building or exit a lease immediately when the space is no longer needed,ΓÇ¥ says Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Offices. ΓÇ£Rather than letting these buildings sit empty at the taxpayersΓÇÖ expense, we are making this space available to SMEs.
ΓÇ£This is an innovative measure that will support British business.ΓÇ¥
Elsewhere on the government agenda, George Osborne has bowed at last to cross-party opposition and lobbying from the commercial property sector with an agreement to review Empty Property Rates tax for small businesses struggling to gain a foothold.
ΓÇ£This is a very welcome development,ΓÇ¥ says Jennifer Brooke, Executive Director of the BCA. ΓÇ£Empty Property Rates have stifled investment in the flexible space sector, which plays a vital role in nurturing small businesses and entrepreneurs.
ΓÇ£An easing of this burden will stimulate regeneration projects and is a positive step for the economy as a whole. We are delighted that the Chancellor has listened to small businesses, the property sector and MPs from across the political divide and look forward to collaborating with the working group of MPs.ΓÇ¥
The BCA is still appealing for signatures in opposition to Empty Property Rates (EPR) legislation. Find out more about EPR and sign the e-petition here.
Elsewhere on the Blog…