Charity shops should be fully exempt from business rates

Web charity shopping for interview

New research has found that only one third of councils currently make use of powers to grant 100% business rate relief to charity shops

10th October 2019 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

A call has been made for charity shops to receive exemption from business rates.

With the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill being discussed in the Scottish Parliament this week, the Charity Retail Association is calling on politicians to grant full business rate relief to all charity shops. 

New research published by the Charity Retail Association has found that only one third of councils currently make use of powers to grant 100% business rate relief to charity shops.

Charity shops bring a host of benefits nationally and locally by bringing high street footfall, jobs, volunteer opportunities, community cohesion, waste reduction as well as charitable output through causes in medical research, homelessness, animal welfare, public health matters and much more.

As climate change becomes more urgent, the Charity Retail Association is calling on the Scottish Government to use the Non-Domestic Rates Bill and further reform to recognise the environmental benefits of charity shops.

Chief executive Robin Osterley said: “Our new investigation reveals the challenges faced by charity retailers in Scotland when it comes to support from local councils. Business rates reform is an opportunity to recognise the waste reduction activities of charity shops which ultimately, lowers carbon emissions.

“Each year around 33,000 tonnes of textiles are kept out of landfill as a result of charity retail in Scotland. On top of this, charity shops bring high street footfall, jobs, volunteering opportunities and wider societal benefits.

“The Scottish Government can use business rates reform to recognise the huge economic and environmental benefits of the sector. By awarding full rates relief universally to charity shops, they can thrive and help secure a more sustainable future for Scotland’s communities.”

14th October 2019 by ROBERTMCINTOSH

Business rate relief should be attached to: only 2nd hand goods sold, no retailing of brand-new 'bought-in' items and only available to charities who spend all the money raised from the shop in the local/Scottish economy.