Business rates need to be ‘urgently realigned’ according to a senior figure in Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Development Manager, Rodney Kernohan, was speaking after the release of a report from the British Retail Consortium which was highly critical of the current system.
TheConsortium’s report revealed that 80% of MPs believe the current system of business rates is ‘not fit for purpose and in need of fundamental reform’
The poll, which also finds that 93% agree that ‘reform of business rates is an important area for the future success of the high street and town centres,’ demonstrates the emergence of a cross-party consensus on the need for reform.
Mr. Kernohan commented: “I hope the Northern Ireland Executive will pay serious heed to this interesting report.”
He added: “To encourage much-needed footfall, business growth is key to the future of our village and town centre high streets.
“If business rates are not urgently realigned, new employment and investment will remain stagnant, momentum to introduce business incubation will gather at a snail’s pace and ‘To Let’ signs will continue to populate our High Streets”.
He said that Ballymena Chamber of Commerce would continues to lobby for urgent action on behalf of members.
“Town-centre businesses large and small need a fair chance to compete against anonymous out-of-town shopping complexes and e-commerce retail platforms”.