Athlone Town Council acts on newsagents’ calls for business rates relief
Athlone Town Council reduced rates by 2.5% in 2014, with a further 2.5% reduction possibly on the cards for 2015
26 May 2014
NFRN Ireland is claiming its calls for business rates relief have garnered success in Athlone, where the town council has agreed a 2.5% reduction in rates for 2014. According to the association, Councillor Kevin Moran is now "campaigning hard" for a further 2.5% reduction next year.
Candidates standing in the local elections across the country have been lobbied by NFRN Ireland members to support a rates relief scheme. To help members push for the new scheme, the newsagents’ association widely distributed a poster for retailers to display prominently in-store.
Councillor Kevin Moran was among those targeted when he visited Martin Mulligan’s Athlone store.
After the visit Martin Mulligan said: "Councillor Moran called to my shop in full support of our poster campaign.
"Since the NFRN campaign was launched Athlone Town Council has agreed a 2.5 % reduction in business rates for 2014 and Councillor Moran is campaigning hard for a further 2.5 % reduction in the business rates for 2015.
"This is great news for every business in the town as all will benefit. A wonderful achievement for the NFRN."
The rate relief scheme is similar to that in Northern Ireland where big businesses pay more so that some relief can be provided to small businesses and independent retailers.
Explaining the rationale behind NFRN Ireland’s calls, public affairs manager Deirdre Drennan said: "It’s a much needed solution to the enormous problem that rates are to small businesses. The detail and parameter of the scheme can be amended to suit this country, as we do not want larger businesses that are also struggling to suffer further. In its first year of existence in Northern Ireland, the scheme provided an average relief of £735 – that’s a considerable reduction."