By Ryan Smith
LOCAL business owners are continuing to come to terms with a hike in rates that has seen bills for businesses here rising by thousands.
Land and Property Services has re-valued non-domestic properties across the North meaning that ‘new values’ were used to calculate rates bills from April 1.
This means that ratepayers will be paying based on their 2013 rental value – as opposed to the last evaluation which was back in 2001.
And while some parts of the county have benefited – including in Enniskillen town centre – others have suffered heavily from the re-evaluation.
Declan McCabe of McCabe’s Supervalu in Newtownbutler said his business is facing an increase of over 50%.
“Like any man in business if he gets a 50 or 60% increase in any overhead he has to look at it and see where can we save this money going forward,” he said.
“I don’t think they’re thinking at all. We will have to look at our wage hours. There’s no way I can increase a 50% increase on our second biggest overhead.”
Asked how he will absorb the rates hike, Mr McCabe said: “The only way to stay profitable is to look at cutting your wage hours. We’re going to have to sit down and look at where we can save on this. I’ve been talking to other shopkeepers here and they’re looking at similar. They can’t see the logic or the sense in it at all.”
Similarly, in Enniskillen, Scott Robinson of Craigville Garden Centre and Coffee Shop is also facing a 50% rise.
“We’re just on the edge of town: We don’t even get Christmas lights or our own bins emptied,” he said, “It doesn’t make sense. This town is empty enough without hurting small businesses.
“My ground hasn’t changed – we’re open ground. It’s not as if we’ve build a two storey house on it.”
Like Supervalu in Newtownbutler, Mr Robinson said that the impact will be on staff.
“Any chance we had of taking on extra members of staff this year are gone. Really there’s times in our business where when the weather is good you could do with 50 staff. But we’re just going to have to cope again.”