West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Councilor Urges Minister to Reduce Rates for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

Published: 14 September, 2011

West Tyrone Sinn Féin Councillor, Glenn Campbell, has called on the Minister for Finance and Personnel Sammy Wilson to take urgent action to support small to medium sized businesses who are struggling to survive in the current harsh economic climate.

Councillor Campbell was speaking ahead of the deadline for consultation responses to the consultation on rating of commercial properties initiated by the Department of Finance and Personnel on 28th June 2011. The deadline for submissions to the consultation is 18th October 2011.

According to Cllr Campbell,

"The high cost of rates is crippling local businesses. This is clearly evident in Fintona where a number of businesses have been forced to close, finding it impossible to survive in the current climate."

Cllr Campbell has argued that the rating of businesses in smaller villages and towns needs to be reviewed and reduced to initiate and support economic recovery.

"The Minister for Finance and Personnel Sammy Wilson has, during this review, a timely opportunity to introduce rates relief or an amnesty for existing and new small to medium businesses. The current ratings system has left small local businesses unable to operate and, if it is not addressed, will stymie economic recovery."

Cllr Campbell continued,

"A revised rating strategy should give greater consideration of the reduced footfall in smaller villages and towns in comparison to larger towns. I have written to the Minister of Finance and Personnel to highlight the concerns of local businesses and urge him to be imaginative and forward-thinking in relation to the rating of small to medium sized businesses in order to aid their survival and thus stimulate economic recovery."

Concluding, Cllr Campbell said,

"I would urge local businesses to also make their views known by writing to the Minister ahead of the October 18th deadline."