RETAILERS in a York community have welcomed a report which calls for a reform of business rates to keep small shops in operation.

The Acomb Alive retailers association said the British Retail Forum Report was a step in the right direction to reduce empty shops.

Sue Hunter, chairman of Acomb Alive! and owner of Floral Elegance in Front Street, said: “Local shops provide the basis of the character of Acomb, but as with the situation nationally we are paying almost twice our share of business taxes than the average company.

“While there have been some changes to reduce the burden on small businesses, I know how tight things are, and have spoken with the Business Secretary Vince Cable about this. We want to see more businesses set up in the area to increase the range and choice of services, and boosting employment at the same time.”