More than 100 organisations from a cross-section of industries have called on all political parties to commit to fundamental reform of the business rates system.

The organisations, including Costcutter, the Association of Convenience Stores, Bargain Booze, the Co-op and the ‘big four’ supermarket groups, signed an open letter to the three main political party leaders in a full page advert in The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

The letter asks the political leaders to commit before the General Election to a fundamental review of the system.

Co-ordinated by the British Retail Consortium, the wide range of signatories, who range from FTSE 100 companies to SMEs, say that business rates are “no longer fit for the purpose of the 21st century” and should be reformed to unleash investment.

Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, said: “The sheer breadth of industries represented shows the strength of our collective belief that the existing system is no longer fit for purpose and that we will support the work of a future government to carry out reforms so that we can play our part in growing the UK economy.”

The 107 organisations also include those from the manufacturing, property, hospitality and service industries.