Review of Commercial Rates and a Stimulus Package required if Rural Businesses are to survive – BREEN.

April 23rd, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has expressed his concern that if the pattern of local shops closing down is not halted that the character of many of our rural towns will be changed forever. He is calling on the Government to introduce a stimulus package to assist small businesses and he has urged Clare County Council, to deal sympathetically with small businesses many of whom are struggling to pay their rates bills.”Small Businesses are the backbone of our Economy, providing 1, 2, 5 or 12 jobs in our towns and villages throughout the county and they play a key role in sustaining our rural communities, however, many of those businesses are now struggling and many are being forced to close their doors.”

“While the Government has been quite happy to bail out the banks, there has been no bailout for small businesses. The lack of access to credit; energy costs, commercial rates costs and the every increasing about of red tape and over regulation are having a detrimental impact on the sector.”

“Last week, George Brew & Sons in Kilrush became the latest victim of the recession and the collapse of the Construction Sector. Brews was a landmark Store in Kilrush and one of the town’s longest established family owned businesses trading in the Town. A visit to a friendly family business is always a very positive experience and Brew’s provided an excellent range and variety of products and they will be sadly missed in the town and throughout West Clare.”

“If local shops and businesses in our rural towns are to survive, a stimulus package must be introduced which would include measures to get lending going again, a National Competitiveness Action Plan to bring down costs controlled or regulated by the Government and abolish upward-only rent reviews on new contracts.”

“Action is also required on rates. I have spoken with a number of business people recently, who told me that they are on the brink of closure because they are struggling to pay their enormous commercial rates bills. I would appeal to Clare County Council to review the situation and to deal sympathetically with these businesses. The reality is that many more of our local shops and businesses will close their doors if this issue is not addressed.”