A publican in Denbighshire spoke to my office this week about concerns that business rates were set to rise considerably, meaning that those who would have previously been eligible for Small Business Rate Relief will no longer be eligible, and will face having to pay hundreds of pounds extra a month.
Here are my comments to the Denbighshire Free Press:
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. This week many found themselves being let down by both Governments in Westminster and in Cardiff. On the one hand we’ve seen rateable values increase significantly for many businesses, and on the other the Welsh Government have singularly failed to stand-up for them by extending the small business rate relief scheme.
“Many rural pubs will especially suffer, in what is a very difficult time for them. This also comes at a time when Sky have increased their fees, meaning that many pubs cannot show live sport such as Wales international matches because of the cost of doing so, resulting in less revenue and more of a squeeze.
“The Welsh Government must return to the issue of their Small Business Rate Relief and ensure that those businesses which were previously eligible are not punished because of the re-evaluations. I will be challenging the Cabinet Secretary on this at the first possible opportunity. I’d like to ask those businesses that have been affected to contact my office in Ruthin so that we can show who how our businesses are suffering in what is already a very difficult time for our high-streets and rural businesses.
“Only last May the Welsh Labour Government stood for election on a pledge that businesses would receive a better deal – just six months later, they are already rowing back on one of its top manifesto pledges. What we have seen here is their total failure to live up to their promises by failing to ensure that the Small Business Rate Relief takes into account the new rateable values.”
If you have a business which is no longer eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief and face having to pay business rates, then please contact me either via this contact form, or find the contact details for my office at the bottom left of this page.