Local businesspeople and politicians have gathered for a public meeting about as part of a review into Non-Domestic Rating.
The event focused on how to improve the flexibility for local businesses, and was hosted in the Burnavon Centre by Sinn Fein MLA’s Michelle O’Neill and Ian Milne.
Mrs O’Neill said: “Business rates are hugely important not only for local business but also for local communities, both rural and town centres. This review is happening for the first time in years, yet when I was discussing with local businesses few had been aware of it or had submitted a response. It is vital that business have an input into the rating system first hand.”
Brian McClure, from the department of Finance and Personnel, gave a presentation on the wide remit of the review and the current range of exemptions and rating system. Many traders raised the need for flexibility and increased frequency of re-evaluations, to offset sudden large rises and falls that makes planning for what overheads and outgoing business have very difficult.