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Rates increases could force some businesses to 'give up'

Cafe owners react to 12% increase

 

Rates increases could force some small businesses in Douglas to ‘give up’ and close down.

Last week Douglas Borough Council announced it was upping rates by 12 percent.

And it’s led to outcry from residents and business owners who say they will struggle to find the extra money.

Tim Brogan is the owner of Gourmet Shakes on Castle Street:

Lenay Stoyanova is the owner of Downtown Cafe on Duke Street.

She told Manx Radio it’s a ‘really, really hard time’ for hospitality:

In response, the Department of Enterprise says it recognises that many businesses have over the last 12 months seen increased operating costs arising from broader inflationary pressures, including energy costs and wage costs and in recent months there has been some stabilisation to the rates of increase. 

'Business rates are one aspect of the overall cost base and whilst any increase in such rates will always be unwelcome, they are on balance far lower on the Island than in many other jurisdictions and are only part of the overall cost picture.

 ‘The Department does not offer any specific schemes that seek to offset direct and recurring operating costs for businesses – whether that be rates or any other overheads, instead focusing its main interventions on those which support economic growth.  

'The Department would encourage any business experiencing difficulties however to contact it direct (contact-business@gov.im) to discuss specific challenges further. 

'Through the Enterprise Support division, the Department may be able to provide access to free of charge independent Business Advisory services for any business which is seeking support.

 ‘Separately the Department’s Business Agency is actively engaged in developing a Local Economy Strategy which will focus on understanding and addressing key barriers to sustainability and growth for local businesses, and is directly looking at the relative cost of business rates and other overheads as part of this work.'

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