VIDEO: Town traders speak out about business rates and the impact on their businesses

Independent traders in Gainsborough have spoken about the amount they are forced to pay in business rates in the town and the impact it is having on their businesses.

Gainsborough town centre
Gainsborough town centre

Craig Atha, from Cash Save Products, said: “It’s totally crippling things. We’re paying over £1,000 a month.”

“When they closed the road last year for five months it had a drastic effect. We are still playing catch up.”

Jeanette Thompson, from Barnes Jewellers, said: “They’re crippling a lot of us. They’re on the steep side.”

Gainsborough town centre

“There is no help from anywhere.”

Roy Walkers, from Walkers Opticians, said: “Overall they don’t seem to be getting any less.”

“They are getting higher. It is a lot of money to be laying out.”

Dawn Barren, from Barren Bou, said: “People can’t afford to take on shops. There is not enough footflow.”

“The entrances into the town need doing up. There is nothing to say we exist.”

“But the town has improved since I first came. It is going the right way but the council need to help people to stay here.”

Jo Hearn, from Pink Pamper, said: “For small local businesses people were not given the right footing to start off on.”

“It’s like I am on a hamster wheel and I can’t get out of it.”

“But I will keep fighting.”

“I’m not giving up.”

A spokesman from Gainsborough Town Council said: “Generally the public, including business owners, do not like paying tax of any kind.”

“Despite that they still want more and better services from the council’s and are very quick to complain when they feel something is not as it should be.”

“Providing services comes at a cost and just like a business, councils overheads do not go down.”

“With less funding coming from central government there is increased difficulty on the councils to try and balance the books.”

“Unfortunately because of the drop in central government funding council’s are having to increase their taxation levels locally just to keep providing the same services, nevermind improved or additional services.”

A West Lindsey District Council spokesman said: “We administer the business rate scheme within the boundaries set by central government.”

“There are a number of reliefs available if businesses are struggling”

“Retail rate relief of up to £1,000 is available to certain types of business with a rateable value of £50,000 or less.”

“Small business rate relief is also available.”

“Businesses need to apply for relief.”

“More information about business rates and relief is available on the council website or by calling 01522 873342”