Shops in Leeds have got an eye-catching chance to show their support for the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Save Our High Street campaign.
The YEP is calling on the Government to overhaul a business rates system that is piling pressure on the country’s entrepreneurs.
Now we have produced an attention-grabbing poster which stores and other workplaces can display in their windows to spread the word about the campaign.
And it is hoped a small army of traders will take up the offer to play a visible part in our push for change.
YEP managing editor Nicola Furbisher said: “Leeds is a city bursting with entrepreneurial spirit. It’s also a city that loves a challenge.
“It would be great to see those two things come together with people displaying our poster in their shops and businesses.”
The UK’s hard-pressed traders are currently saddled with the highest property tax bills in Europe.
And although business rates are collected by councils, the amount payable is determined by the Government.
One store previously highlighted by the YEP, Accent Clothing in the Queens Arcade in Leeds, spends £50,000 on the rates each year.
Launched at the start of this month, our campaign has been backed by local MPs including Rachel Reeves (Lab, Leeds West) and Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West).
It has also won support from Leeds City Council leader Coun Keith Wakefield, who told the YEP: “I know people who are desperate to set up in business but they just cannot afford to do it. That’s why I’m in favour of the YEP campaign for change on this front.”
Posters can alternatively be ordered by mail, send a stamped addressed envelope to Paul Robinson, Yorkshire Evening Post, No.1 Leeds, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE.
Support can also be shown by adding your name to the online campaign petition at the www.change.org/p/uk-government-launch-an-immediate-review-of-the-business-rates-system-in-england-freezing-rates-in-the-interim web page.
We also want to hear from traders who feel business rates leave them shouldering an unfair burden.
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The YEP is running the campaign in conjunction with hundreds of our sister Johnston Press titles as well as the British Independent Retailers Association.