Rent costs are crushing small businesses and destroying towns
■ 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