Businessman fumes at rates bill

A Shropshire business owner has pleaded for the county council to show leniency in demanding business rates this year.

Kim Smith of Gill's Puddings
Kim Smith of Gill's Puddings

Gill’s Puddings operates three bakeries, one of which also has an attached shop, and a fleet of refrigerated vans.

The Market Drayton firm supplies puddings to dozens of pubs, restaurants and hotels all over the country.

"The company has been shut for much of this year and 36 employees have been furloughed, but director Kim Smith said that Shropshire Council is asking for the full business rates this year. Through an Act of Parliament we were shut for 15 weeks in the first lockdown,” said Mr Smith.

“We have had no help with business rates at all.

"They say we don’t fit into the hospitality sector, but our business is 99 per cent supply to the hospitality trade.”

A spokesman for Shropshire Council said: “The Government has introduced business rate relief for the 2020/21 financial year for businesses whose premises are wholly or mainly accessible to the visiting general public for the purposes of retail, leisure or hospitality. ”

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