It is important because removing business rates will help young companies and start-ups through the initial very dangerous phase, where most falter, as quickly as possible. When you start a new company – and I have started quite a number of those – you want to bring it through to profitability as quickly as possible, in particular in a country like the UK, where the venture capital sector is so underdeveloped.
Start-ups are often based on ONE good, often hi-tech and advanced, idea. Quite often, young entrepreneurs are handicapped by not having sufficient capital to patent inventions, and even if they do, to fight off those who violate their patents and steal their ideas. Getting successfully through this very vulnerable phase quickly is vital for a company. The business rate system kills companies that we can not afford to lose.
With regard to rates on other, older, companies in (hopefully) temporary difficulties, business rates are a burden which costs jobs. It is a stupid type of taxation, which should be replaced by a tax on profit, or perhaps on dividends.