Suspension of rural ATM rates relief costing small retailers £130K

Retail NI has described the suspension of the Rural ATM Rate Relief Scheme, which is costing Retail NI members an extra £130,000 as “disgraceful”.

The scheme provided rates relief on external ATM’s for over seventy independent retailers in rural areas has been suspended as a result of Stormont not meeting.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “This is a completely unacceptable situation, with rural independent retailers receiving additional rate bills of up to £8k on top of already high business rate costs”

“The suspension of this scheme is a direct result of Stormont not meeting to pass an annual technical vote to approve this rate relief, costing an additional £130k for struggling small retailers in rural areas”

“Small businesses are now directly paying the price of the inability of the political parties to secure agreement and form a Government at Stormont”

“With so many bank branch closures in rural towns and villages in recent years, our members’ ATMs provide an invaluable service to their local communities.

“There is a real danger our members could start to remove these ATMs unless urgent action is taken to restore this rate relief scheme. Retail NI has always taken the view that ATMs should not receive a separate rates bill”

Tempo based Retail NI member Ruairi McKeagney said: “I was shocked to receive an additional Rates Bill of £8k out of the blue for my ATM”

“This will have a serious knock on effect on my business and sadly I have decided to close my ATM on completion of my contract as it has become unsustainable”


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