MORE THAN 100 businesses - including the i360 and Snoopers Paradise - are asking for an extension to the business rates holiday.

Restaurants, pubs, night clubs, hairdressers and cultural venues are among the Brighton and Hove businesses who “face a cliff edge” with business rates due again from April.

British Airways i360, Hotel Pelirocco, Snoopers Paradise, The Chilli Pickle, Pavilion Gardens Café, and Green Door Store join more than 100 others in signing a letter to chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

The Argus: The team at Green Door Store in BrightonThe team at Green Door Store in Brighton

The letter, created by Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas, calls on the chancellor to extend the holiday, which is due to end on March 31.

This comes amid the closure of several chain stores in the city including Topshop in Churchill Square, New Look and Argos, both in Western Road.

Although Covid restrictions are due to be eased, many of the struggling business say it will be a while before trade returns to normal.

One of the business owners, Peter Allinson who runs Whirligig Toys Ltd, said he thought it would take two years for footfall to return to pre-Covid levels.

Another said an extension to business rates relief could be the difference between her business surviving or closing.

The letter says: “As Brighton and Hove businesses, we face a cliff edge when business rates become due again from April.

“We are worried that the welcome support for businesses provided by the Treasury to date will be undermined if, as is likely, we cannot survive the demand for business rates to be paid from April.

The letter also calls for reform of the business rates system so that physical shops are not taxed much more heavily than online retailers.

Caroline Lucas said: “The fact that so many businesses have signed this letter shows what a knife edge they are living on. Many of them have already made use of the furlough scheme, bounce back loans and other Covid support measures that the Government has introduced, and are only just hanging on.

“It is far too early to take away the lifeline of the business rates holiday, especially for sectors which will take some time to recover.

“It would be a disaster if, just at the moment when businesses can start to plan for their future, this vital support was snatched away pushing some of them over the edge.

“The Chancellor has to listen to the voice of small businesses who are so important to the economy across the country, not just in Brighton and Hove, and extend the business rates relief, filling the gap so that already financially stretched councils don’t lose a critical source of funding.”