Could machine learning save the UK high street?

London, October 2021… New technology for calculating business rates is set to inject life into the shops, pubs and other pillars of the UK high street. The archaic way business rates are estimated is considered a primary reason for the death of the UK high street*, with taxes for business owners often exceeding their rent. But a service called Business Rates Hero is set to change all that by using the latest in automation to revolutionise how rates are calculated and appealed.

As it stands, not only does the UK have one of the highest business rates in the world**, but the system is opaque and inconsistent. Many owners are finding, without explanation, that they pay far more than their neighbours in business rates. And there’s little use in appealing: the process, which typically takes 2.5 years, is costly and complex. Many business owners are folding or opting to go online, rather than jump through expensive and bureaucratic hoops.

The advances in machine learning are about to offer a lifeline to our beloved high street. Business Rates Hero automates the appeals process, using a tech-first approach that takes into account historic property data, and compares businesses with similar properties. The service operates on a no-win-no-fee basis and has been successful in 85% of its appeals. By reducing the time and money spent on advisors, the arrival of this tech is good news for our high street.

Chris Sees, Co-founder of Business Rates Hero says: “The technology behind Business Rates Hero gathers intelligent feedback on your appeal, meaning that advisors can concentrate on the most important work, making it more reliable, cost-efficient and timely to process”.*

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