In a landmark decision, the Appeal Court has ruled that retailers will no longer have to pay business rates for cash machines outside their shops and that they will be refunded for the previous payments backdating to April 2010. The Court also ruled that shop owners should not pay business rates on ATM machines inside their stores.
The NFRN welcomed these decisions, which will benefit retailers, as well as consumers and local communities, with National President Mike Mitchelson describing the move as “a much-needed breath of fresh air.”
The ruling will bring an estimated £300 million back to businesses which are struggling with burdensome business rates and an increasingly challenging economic environment.
Mr Mitchelson continued: “The NFRN has been calling for action on business rates for cash machines for some time so this news is very welcome. Convenience stores play a pivotal role in the survival of many local communities, where more and more vital services close down. In recent years, many bank branches in the UK have shut down, making access to cash increasingly difficult for consumers. As a result, consumers increasingly rely on ATM operators and retailers to access financial services. Without local convenience stores, the sustainability of these rural areas would clearly be under threat.
“Independent shopkeepers need more than ever to be supported to keep local communities thriving. Today’s ruling is a step in the right direction and a much-need breath of fresh air.”
In the coming weeks, the NFRN will work to ensure its members receive the refund that they have been granted today.