Small Business Show 74 Part 2: Commercial Rates & Fair Treatment

Commercial Rates are of great concern to the Small Business community in Ireland and in Shannon, Co. Clare a new movement is beginning to gather pace in addressing these concerns.

Darragh O’Conner, one of the organisers of the group, talked candidly to us about why they are protesting the high rates and what needs to be done in order to save businesses.

The Small Business Show is broadcast each weekend on Clare FM radio & Listened to by over 21,000 people a week ( official JNLR figures ).  Items from the show are published as podcasts throughout the week on FocuSMEIreland.com.  You can subscribe for free to download the MP3s automatically using RSS or iTunes.

 

Small Business Show 72 Part 1: Shop Local, Disabilities & Coaching Solutions

This week on the Small Business Show Kehlan and Brian are joined by the shows new permanent guest who’ll be joining us every week from now on – Olwen Dawe from Irish Business Intelligence.

Topics discussed this week:

- Shopping Local This Chrsitmas

- Why we still have high commercial rates when businesses are struggling

- What would like to see in Budget 2013? Our panelists give their opinion.

 The Small Business Show is broadcast each weekend on Clare FM radio & Listened to by over 21,000 people a week ( official JNLR figures ).  Items from the show are published as podcasts throughout the week on FocuSMEIreland.com.  You can subscribe for free to download the MP3s automatically using RSS or iTunes.

War Of Words Breaks Out Between Farmers Association and Small Firms Association

A war of words has broken out between two of Ireland’s biggest business representatives over suggestions from the Small Firms Association that farmers and the government should bare the brunt of commercial rate costs.

The SFA Director, Patricia Callen, suggested that Irish farmers and government departments should pay commercial rates along with all other traders.

She stated that ‘Farming is a business like any other and at the moment and unlike many city-and-town- based retail operations, it’s doing quite well.

‘Therefore it’s only fair that farmers should also pay commercial rates and bear their fair share of infrastructure and service costs.’

The also went on to say that a move like this would help relieve the pressure on a dwindling pool of city and town businesses, many of whom are still being forced to pay boom-era rates.

However the Irish Farmers Association President, John Bryan has released a statement saying ‘Farm buildings, which are those linked to primary agricultural production, are not located in towns and cities, and therefore do not benefit from the services provided for commercial buildings in urban areas.  Where related activities are located in urban centres, such as buildings that provide for the sale of agricultural products, these do pay commercial rates.’

He also said that the ‘SFA would be better employed to concentrate whatever capacity it has on representing its own members and not proposing solutions that increase costs for other sectors. This can only damage the viability of thousands of small businesses dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods.”

Report – Commercial Rates Now Represent The Biggest Burden Facing Most SMEs

Irish Employers for Affordable Rates (IEAR) has released a report which says that the commercial rates system needs to be amended to recognise business realities. Rates levied on Irish businesses by local authorities had increased by 47pc over the past ten years and now amounted to an annual charge on business of €1.35 billion. Continue reading