CBA takes action in face of business rates furore

Trade body the Craft Bakers’ Association (CBA) has raised concerns about the impact of business rates hikes with Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The association has told British Baker it has ‘made representation’ on behalf of its members ahead of the new rates coming into effect in April.

Two Magpies Bakery in Southwold hit the national press last week after advertising sausage rolls for £8.17 – a 177% mark-up on the usual £2.95 price tag. Owner Rebecca Bishop said the increase was the same as the business rate hike her business is set to face.

In response to the story, bakers from around the UK got in touch to ask what action could be taken.

When contacted by British Baker, CBA chairman George Fuller said: “As an association we are well aware of the impact of business rates on our members. We have made representation on behalf of our members to Philip Hammond MP, communities secretary Sajid Javid and the CBA’s local MP Mark Prisk, outlining our concerns on an increase in business rates on bakery businesses on the high street.

“The high street business is already under huge pressure from a reduction in footfall, the implementation of higher parking tariffs, introduction of the National Living Wage and auto-enrolment of pensions. To see an increase in some instances of £4,000.00 extra on business rates will see some high street bakers close their doors.”

The CBA added that David Smart, former president of the association, and Christopher Freeman, current board director, had both been on national television to give their views on the impending change.

It said it has also employed an outside company to assist members with their business rates going forward.

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