Last week – during Independent Bookshop Week – the Booksellers Association (BA) launched a petition, requesting for the government to grant bookshops the same business rates relief that pubs are afforded.
Pubs are currently offered a £1,000 discount off their bill rate, in recognition of their role as pillars of the community, and the BA believes indie bookshops should be awarded the same status. Both create jobs across the country, both bring the community together, and they are both a cultural asset to their towns.
And a petition launched on June 18 seems to suggest that the public agree, with around 4,000 people pledging their support.
— The Bookseller (@thebookseller) June 20, 2018
The BA’s president and independent bookseller Nic Bottomley said: “Business rates are a massive burden for too many bookshops. We would support a wide-scale review and update of the business rates system as called for by many retail leaders after House of Fraser’s sad announcements last week.
“In the meantime though, as a first step and as a matter of urgency, we are asking for a specific business rates exception for bookshops. Bookshops bring vitality to the high street at a time when the high street is under constant threat. Every high street is richer for having a bookshop and poorer for not having one.”