NPA chief: Business rates will 'really hurt' independents

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NPA chief: Business rates will 'really hurt' independents

National Pharmacy Association chief executive Mark Lyonette has urged the government to offer community pharmacies financial support to help them cope when business rates return to full next month.

The government’s business rates holiday, introduced in March 2020 when the pandemic began, was extended until March this year. It saw rates reduced by 50 per cent up to a maximum of £110,000.

Businesses have also benefitted from 66 per cent in transitional business rates relief, but this is to end on March 31. Olivier Picard, who runs Newdays Pharmacy in Eton, warned that this “will be very painful for” independent pharmacies.

Mr Lyonette echoed this, warning that the end of rates relief will “really hurt” NPA members.

“The costs of running pharmacies keeps rising and this inflationary pressure must be recognised by government and the NHS as a problem that requires a meaningful response in terms of funding,” he said.

“Pharmacies have seen staff costs going through the roof and energy prices too. Business rates are yet another cost burden that will really hurt our members.”

Mr Picard, who is also an NPA Board member, said: “I have just received my rates renewal and it’s going to cost me thousands across my four pharmacies.

"This will be very painful for independent pharmacies like mine, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see how the rising cost of doing business can be absorbed without affecting patient care.”

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