Currently Surrey CC apply non-domestic rates based on the rent a business pays (or the rent it would expect to pay if it owns the property outright). As rent per square foot decreases the larger the property, the largest shops (such as supermarkets) pay lower rates per square foot than a local grocer in the same area. This is unfair.
Local independent shops not only contribute more in business rates (and on their rent) they also pay taxes on their profits in the UK which is not always the case for big supermarkets and chain stores. They also contribute more to the life of local communities as they bring character and variety to our high street. To level the playing field I would seek to apply a 20% discretionary rate relief to Small & Medium sized Enterprises, whose business addresses are registered in Surrey. It would be paid for by the contributions from the new businesses that would be attracted by this scheme to start up in small properties that are currently empty. More Surrey businesses mean more money circulating in the local economy, more local jobs, thriving communities and more tax collected.
The Conservative councillors ran out of ideas years ago, Surrey County Council needs fresh blood and fresh ideas and I can do that as councillor for Egham.