SMALL businesses owners in the area have saved thousands of pounds on their rates bills thanks to a campaign set up by Cardigan & District Chamber of Commerce.
The total saved following an appeal set up by the organisation against new valuations is just under £83,000. Up to 27 traders benefited from the scheme, which was launched more than two years ago.
“This is an excellent result for many local business owners, many of whom had such high rate rises that they faced going under,” said Chamber of Commerce chairman Tim Phillips this week.
The scheme was open to all Chamber members on a no-win-no-fee basis.
Appeals against the revaluations of 2010 were handled by Cooke & Arkwright on behalf of members.
The company announced the final figure this week.
Chamber directors said the process had been “very worthwhile”.
“For the cost of Chamber membership, which is just £35 a year, traders were able to appeal through a really professional company and the results for most have been very worthwhile. It is clear that the collective approach has been much more successful than individual appeals,” said director Ian Gunn.
“We will be in a very good position to mount another campaign when the next revaluations come out in 2015,” added Jim Evans.
The Chamber’s rates campaign also involved meetings with Ceredigion County Council, County AM Elin Jones and Wales Business Minister Edwina Hart, as well as a visit to the House of Commons to lobby ministers with MP Mark Williams.
“We now have excellent links with all the authorities and are ready to take on the fight again should we need to in two years time,” said Chamber vice- chairman Paul Oakley.
Members welcomed Mrs Hart’s announcement last week that rate relief for small businesses is to be extended through 2013-14.
The Minister has now also answered questions about ‘rural proofing’, which was raised by Chamber of Commerce members at the business rates seminar organised by AM Elin Jones in Cardigan in November. Mrs Hart has confirmed that the last Business Rates Review was not subject to rural proofing, but has given an assurance that should business rates be devolved to Wales rural issues will be “fully considered” in relation to business rates.
Membership subscriptions for 2013 are now due.
If you do not pay by Direct Debit or Standing Order an invoice will be on its way to you soon.
The rate remains the same at £35 a year