Rent costs are crush­ing small busi­nesses and de­stroy­ing towns

Irish Independent - - Letters & Editorial Comment -

■ As I walk around my home town my gaze falls upon the many empty and derelict build­ings which line our Main Street; to which I am both hor­ri­fied and an­gry. Those idle build­ings once laid foun­da­tion to a buzzing and en­ter­pris­ing town.

In mak­ing room for larger, more op­u­lent shop­ping cen­tres, we have laid de­struc­tion to the smaller busi­ness towns such as Moun­trath, Co Laois.

Moun­trath was once a boom­ing town with sev­eral in­dus­tries to its name. The town it­self pro­vided jobs and in­come to most of the lo­cal­ity; now only a few of­fer em­ploy­ment. Where do I lay the blame for its de­cline?

The blame is not in the lack of en­trepreneurs, nor the work­force, not even the in­crease of com­pe­ti­tion from multi­na­tion­als such as Aldi or Lidl; the blame is in the in­creas­ing costs of run­ning a busi­ness – pri­mar­ily the cost of rent­ing.

When you con­sider the many costs that face a small busi­ness, more needs to be done to help them flour­ish in such de­mand­ing times. Would com­mon sense not de­ter­mine it was bet­ter to help a busi­ness stay open than forc­ing clo­sure and let­ting an­other site go idle?

If the Govern­ment was to work more closely with lo­cal county coun­cil’s to help pro­mote small busi­nesses – one by de­creas­ing costs of rent­ing but also through fur­ther tax in­cen­tives and de­vel­op­ment fund­ing – only good could emerge.

We need to build up Ire­land one small busi­ness at a time, or I fear we will have our busi­ness growth but with­out any true heart of com­mu­nity.

Julie Ben­nett Moun­trath, Co Laois

The Govern­ment must do more to help ru­ral towns like Moun­trath

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