FERMOY BUSINESSES STRUGGLE TO PAY RATES
The hardship that businesses in Fermoy are feeling due to the recession was evident at Tuesday night’s meeting of the local town council.
Cllr Noel McCarthy confirmed that over 26 summons have been issued to local businesses that are in arrears on their rates.
He added, “Because of the current recession these people who may have always paid their rates are now in trouble. I think we should give them one more opportunity and show them that our door is open, and that we are willing to help.”
Cllr Michael Hanley said he is quite fearful, as he himself is a businessman, having been so for 36 years, and, on a personal basis, has lost ‘a frightful amount of business in terms of turnover’.
“It’s a dreadful scenario and it has to do with the severity of the recession,” Cllr Hanley added.
The town manager confirmed that so far only 58% of rates have been collected for 2010.
“This is a worrying statistic on two levels,” Cllr Pa O’Driscoll told The Avondhu.
“The major concern is that it shows the pressure that many businesses must be under in the town, owing to the combined effect of the recession and the impact of the flood plan and roadworks. Businesses that are struggling to pay their rates should work with the town clerk and town manager to come to a mutually satisfactory arrangement, as nobody wants to risk having any other business close in the town.”
“The second concern is that the budget of the town council will be further depleted meaning some services may be adversely affected in 2011. The upcoming budget will have to take into account what we have been told and savings will have to be made.”
Cllr Tadhg O’Donovan said that it is imperative that the businesses in the town know that it is never too late to pay and avoid court.
“We will bend over backwards to find a solution irrespective of how near it is to court proceedings.”
The manager said that 25% of the money collected for rates to date has come via direct debit, so they are willing to offer all types of arrangements to help businesses that are finding it difficult.
Thursday 18th November 5:52pm