PUBLISHED: 10:33 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:52 06 February 2019 Jessica Hill Braintree High Street, Picture: Braintree District Council Archant Cash-strapped town centre stores that are buckling under the weight of outgoings are being offered some help by councils in Suffolk and north Essex – but is it a case of ‘closing the gate when the horse has already bolted?’ Braintree District Council is the latest council to announce plans to cut business rates, and the cabinets of Mid Suffolk and Babergh district councils are also set to back the new discretionary business rate reduction scheme, which could mean one third off bills for retail and other businesses across the two districts.Local independent retailers in these districts could benefit from a slice of around £800,000 in business rate relief, which was announced by central government in the Autumn budget. The proposals comes at a time when high street stores are in fierce competition with online traders. Many stores have found themselves unable to compete with online prices, given the extra outgoings of rates and town centre rents that they have to stump up.The plans will help traders in Stowmarket and Sudbury, Needham Market and Hadleigh in Suffolk, and Witham,… Read full this story
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