Call For Targeted Rates Reductions For Businesses

Deputy John Lyons has stated that there should be targeted rates reductions for businesses in town centres, and has welcomed Chambers Ireland's support for such a policy.

Deputy Lyons said: "Our town and village centres are under increasing pressure from out-of-town retailers who enjoy competitive advantages in terms of easier access and free parking. In Finglas for example, there are 14 vacant units in the small retail core of the village – as a result of direct competition from two large retail centres on its doorstep.

"In recognition that this is happening across the country, Chambers Ireland today listed 'Targeted Rates Reduction for Businesses in Town Centres' as part of its 10 Point Plan for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

"This plan cites Northern Ireland's Large Retail Levy where there is a temporary 15% increase on rates for very large out-of-town retailers, which funds a rate reduction for smaller town centre retailers. While recommending a more tailored approach here than the Large Retail Levy.

"At present, commercial rates are calculated on the value of a business and so the more your business is worth the more you pay – irrespective of where your business is located. The end result is that town centres – which are recognised Core Retail Areas in planning policy – are being undermined, as economics outpaces planning policy.

"To reverse this trend and to help protect town centre jobs and businesses, we should look to use our rates system to sustain our town and village centres. Enabling Local Authorities to introduce rates regimes that support town centres would also enhance our Local Government in line with the Putting People First reforms."


Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 March 2013
Call For Commercial Rates To Be Lower For Town Centre Developments
Labour Deputy, John Lyons, has stated that commercial rates should be lower for town centre developments and higher for large out of town developments – to help sustain smaller retailers that are currently under pressure.
26 July 2011
Large Retailer Tax 'Retrograde Step'
Major retailers are calling for the introduction of legislation that would enable them to make properly targeted contributions to the 'health' of Northern Ireland's high streets - and not a tax on larger traders as has been proposed.
03 July 2012
Dobson Welcomes Decision To Withdraw Legal Action Against Tesco Store
Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has welcomed the decision by the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Traders Association (NIIRTA) to withdraw its Judicial Review application against the proposed out of town Tesco store at Bridgewater Park in Banbridge.
27 May 2011
McCausland Unveils Cookstown Regeneration
The launch of a draft Masterplan for Cookstown town centre has taken place, with NI Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland announcing that the purpose of the plan is to provide strategic guidance for the regeneration and development of the town centre over the next 10-15 years - and to enhance job opportunities.
28 March 2011
Tesco's Banbridge Store Approved
Not everyone has welcomed news that the supermarket giant, Tesco has been given the go-ahead to build a large store at the Bridgewater Retail Park, Banbridge. Even though it will be part of a development which will include retail warehouses and create hundreds of jobs, smaller traders are worried about the impact on their businesses.