Rate delay 'not significant' say indies

<p>Independent booksellers have largely welcomed the delayed increase in the business rate as a means of aiding cashflow but said it wouldn&#39;t significantly affect them.</p><p>It had been mooted that businesses would face a 5% increase in rates. But following negotiations with the British Retail Consortium and the Booksellers Association, chancellor Alistair Darling announced that businesses would only have to pay a 2% rise and would be able to spread the remaining 3% between 2010 and 2012.</p><p>Ian Nicholson, owner of Alison&#39;s in Tewkesbury, welcomed the deferred increase but added: &quot;It&#39;s not significant. It&#39;s a modest saving but one we are grateful for.&quot; This will free up a few hundred pounds extra a year - until the payment deadline of 2012 - improving cash flow. Nicholson said: &quot;We will probably invest this in stock.&quot;</p><p>Louise Vance, at the Sandwich Bookshop in Kent, bemoaned that councils were not offering a corresponding increase in service provision for the rate rise. She said: &quot;I suspect [the BRC and BA] have been trying very hard to avoid this increase. Lots of organisations have been pushing for this increase not to happen because it&#39;s the worst possible time to introduce this.&quot;</p><p>Anna Dreda, owner of Wenlock Books in Shropshire, said: &quot;It was one of those areas that as an independent business, we did not have a voice. Thanks to the concerted effort and coordinated action, it has helped to reduce this increase in the short term. Things are not as bad here as a business but I am being really cautious and prudent about expenditure.&quot;</p>