‘It could force us to close’
ONE greengrocer faces a rates increase of £10,000.
Tracy Brown, who runs two stores and a delicatessen in Suffolk, is seeing her bill rise from £4,000 to £14,000.
The 42-year-old said it may mean she is forced to close a shop and lose staff.
‘Critically, for one shop it puts it into a loss-making scenario,’ she said. ‘It’s fruit and veg, and doesn’t make huge amounts of profit. It is really depressing.
‘At one stage I had two profitable businesses then very quickly – through things I had no control over – I didn’t. My rent is triple what I was paying eight years ago and now this is happening with the rates.’
She says the Government has to be more pragmatic about how it classifies businesses.
‘They need to think longterm... about how they are working out the rateable value of businesses,’ she said.
‘Our bills are so high we are having to look at whether it’s worth us renewing our lease and carrying on.
‘If the Government is offering a reduction, we need it soon.’
Grocer: Tracy Brown