Business rates are a stretch

Re: Are landlords too greedy? In response to Tony Smith's letter regarding greedy landlords, I would like to put a different perspective forward as to why shops are struggling Business Rates!

Re: Are landlords too greedy? In response to Tony Smith's letter regarding greedy landlords, I would like to put a different perspective forward as to why shops are struggling - Business Rates! In 2004, when I took over my shop ,my original rates were agreeable, yet a year later, the 2005 Rating Listing came out more than doubling my rates to more than �4,000-a-year, with another increase expected in 2010, so I am led to believe. As people may be aware, in November 2008, the Natwest Bank next door to my shop, erected scaffolding which covered part of my building and severly restricted access. This licence was given by the council, to whom I pay rates for the privilege of trading, and the Highways Authority. Naturally, I sought compensation from the council for my business being restricted and asked for my rates to be refunded for the 27 days my business was impeded.The council's response was, and I quote, " it is wholely wrong to try to claim compensation on these grounds....length of time not enough....business rates are not a service to be paid for, but are a tax." For this period, my turnover was down by 40 per cent, causing massive and ongoing problems for my business, yet this means nothing to those at EDDC. Maybe they will be happier when lots of small businesses start closing - they will soon start complaining about lost rates.I agree with Tony that rent is high in Honiton, but we agree to this when we take on the premises.In fact, my landlord has been very good to us through this tough time. It is the ever-increasing rates and licences that businesses are being asked to pay for that is starting to stretch us more and more. I can't wait until next year for the new rating values. Let's see how many more businesses go to the wall then! David Welch Surfers Paradise96 High StHoniton


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