The Inverurie Business Association (IBA) held an emergency summit last week bringing together nearly 100 IBA members, local business owners and managers and all interested parties to hear from experts on business rates and to discuss the impact this will have on the local area in order to equip businesses with information and ways to appeal rates increases.
The speakers were Ian Milton, Rates Assessor for the Grampian Area who set the proposed rateable values, Eric Shearer, Partner at Knight Frank Aberdeen who has been very involved in collating information and putting a case to the Scottish Government on the Business Rates increases and Gillian Martin MSP, MSP for Aberdeenshire East.
The Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse also attended and outlined the current position of the Scottish Government, saying that the Scottish Government were listening to businesses and business groups as well as reiterating Ian Milton’s request for business owners to get in touch with the Assessor team to discuss individual cases.
Additionally Cllr Richard Thompson from Aberdeenshire Council announced a £3million fund to support business rates mitigation over the next year had been agreed in the Aberdeenshire Council budget yesterday and that they were looking for feedback from businesses on how this could be most effectively utilised.
Ashley Wilson, Chair of the Inverurie Business Association (IBA) said: “We have had many members approaching us over the last few weeks looking for help and advice as their new rates valuations arrived. The IBA has been working closely with the working group set up by Aberdeen Grampian Chamber of Commerce and has been supporting Inverurie’s business community providing information and suggestions about how to make their voice heard by the Scottish Government.”
She added: “Our Business Rates Breakfast held on Friday also gave attendees a lot of information on how rates were set and also how to appeal valuations. We were delighted that we were able to give members the opportunity to hear the facts about how rateable values were set, the rates appeal process and also what Aberdeenshire Council have put in place so far.”
“With nearly 100 people at the IBA Breakfast it was plain for the all to see that this issue is top of mind of many of our members. We are still seeking further support and will carry on working with AGCC and other business groups as well as with our local MSP, Councillors and Aberdeenshire Council on this.”