The Chambers of Commerce in Mayo have joined forces in requesting a meeting with Mayo County Council to discuss commercial rates being charged across the county.
The Chambers have called on all county councillors to ensure that immediate action is taken to secure the small businesses in Mayo, in what is an extraordinarily difficult business climate.
A statement issued by the Chambers to Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council Cllr Joe Mellett said it has been flagged in numerous areas that the cost of doing business in Ireland is too expensive and rates are one of these fixed costs. They have asked the council to address this issue when preparing their budgets for 2010.
“We acknowledge the freezing of the rates for 2009 and thank you for passing this in the council but the situation needs to be revisited as more businesses come under increasing financial pressure. We feel a reduction of up to 10 per cent is now required to consolidate businesses,” the statement, which was issued by the presidents of the Chambers in Mayo, said.
“In recent discussions with businesses throughout our respective towns, all have expressed concern over the high level of costs of commercial rates. On their behalf we are now requesting a meeting with yourself (Cllr Mellett ) and a member of the finance sector of Mayo County Council to discuss this issue.
“We also requested that a task force be set up to help with the preservation of our town centres and, as stated, Mayo Chambers would be available to take a representation on this force. The following initiatives were put forward: The reduction in commercial rates, reduction of development levies and a rate free period for 12 months for new businesses in town centres.
“We would like to know if this issue has been discussed by Mayo County Council.”