Loughborough Freeze Business Rates Protest

The Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA)  teamed up with local business owners in Loughborough today to call for a freeze in business rates.
After rises of 4.6 per cent in 2011 and 5.6 per cent in 2012, they argue that the proposed 2.6 per cent hike in business rates from 1st April poses a serious threat to the continued existence of shops in Loughborough’s town centre, which could not only lead to reduced consumer choice, but also destroy jobs. Michael Jackson of Pickworth Furnishing told us:
It’s really whether you’re getting value for money. At the moment, being in the town centre, I’d probably say we’re not.

It would be very easy to operate from an out of town unit. We pay a massive premium to be in the town centre and there are a lot of businesses out there that just can’t afford any more rises.

Benedette McGarda, of Grand Specs opticians in Loughborough, said that business rates are restricting improvements to the quality of shops in the Leicestershire town.
We would like business rates to be frozen because business has gone down in the town. There are not enough good shops in the town and because of the recession people want things for a reduced price more and more, meaning our profits go down.

Businesses in small towns like Loughborough are sending a clear message to George Osborne that they cannot afford yet another hike in Business Rates during these difficult economic times.

It's easy to write to your MP and let them know your views. Go to freezebusinessrates.org and let your voice be heard.

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