Cunningham welcomes rates freeze

11 02 2014

Pound Coins Stack 

Moyle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham says businesses and residents will welcome the decision by Moyle Council to freeze rates.

Councillor Dónal Cunningham said: “This is a good news story for residents and businesses that have faced considerable financial pressure because of the economic downturn.

“The unanimous decision by Council for a zero rate increase, in effect a 2% decrease when you take inflation into consideration, shows that Council is responding to needs of Moyle ratepayers.

 “Council will continue to examine finances even further to see how greater efficiency saving can be made. It is also important that the NI Executive recognises the steps we have taken and does all it can do to minimise the impact of rate increases.”

Cllr Cunningham said: “Despite the freeze in the rates, Council is still able to deliver improved services for Moyle. We are hoping to deliver on major Forestry Projects as well as improvements to other harbour, tourist and visitor facilities. We will also seek to improve sporting and leisure facilities throughout the area.”

Councillor Cunningham is also hopeful that Council will use the powers available to it to support a pilot project aimed at tackling fuel poverty and energy efficiency. “Council must demonstrate leadership in tough economic times. With the new power of planning, regeneration and community planning coming to local government it is important that Moyle positions itself so that we will be able to do so much more to shape our district, support business and tackle disadvantage.”

Outdated system of Business Rating making Town Centres unviable

4 03 2013


Castle Street

 Commenting after meeting with representatives from Ballycastle Town Centre traders, Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called for a complete rethink of the Business rating system in order to save Town Centres.

 “The current business rating system is built around a model of town and village centres which no longer exists. Out of town and internet shopping has caused footfall in all our small towns and villages to fall to the point that many long standing small business are either at breakeven point or making losses. This situation cannot continue”

 Councillor Cunningham continued “There is no point burying our heads in the sand, the current system is outdated and is not working. We need to be honest and ask ourselves what are our towns and villages are going to look like in 10 years. If we want to arrest the decline we need to sort out a system of business rating that actually works”

“Another issue we need to address is that of empty properties, where  landlords are having to pay business rates on empty properties leaving them without  the cash to invest in the same properties in order to attract new tenants.”

“The Department of Finance and Personnel to their credit recently extended the Small Business Rates relief scheme, unfortunately it is now time for them to sit down again and come up with a completely new system- one that works.”


Small businesses need all the help they can get

29 01 2013

Small Business
SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham is hopeful the sustainability of many small local businesses will be helped with the extension of the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme in April.
Councillor Cunningham continued
“Following a review of commercial rating an additional band of 20 per cent relief is available from 1 April 2012.
There are three levels of Small Business Rate Relief:
• business properties with a NAV of £2,000 or less will receive a reduction of 50 per cent relief
• business properties with a NAV of more than £2,000 but not more than £5,000 will receive 25 per cent relief
• business properties with an NAV of more than £5,000 but not more than £10,000 will receive a 20 per cent relief
“It is estimated that this measure will benefit an additional 3,500 businesses across the north and undoubtedly a large number of local businesses will be able to avail of this much needed assistance

Could your business benefit from expert advice on securing external finance?

10 01 2013

Business Funding

Raising Finance for Small Businesses Programme

North East Economic Development (N.E.E.D.)

“Meet the Funder” taster event:

Sheskburn House

Moyle District Council Offices

Wednesday 23rd January 2013 14.00 – 18.00

1. What is this Programme all about?

In the current economic climate, many businesses are struggling to secure the finance necessary to develop and grow. The Raising Finance Programme aims to help participants to identify and access a wide range of external finance options and to approach finance providers with confidence.

 2. Who is funding the Programme?

The Programme is funded by AntrimBC, CarrickfergusBC, BallymenaBC, ColeraineBC, LarneBC and MoyleDC, Invest NI and by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland. Full Circle Management Solutions Ltd is delivering the Programme on behalf of the funders.

 3. Who should be interested in the Programme?

If you own or run a small business in one of the 6 council areas [See 2 above] and wish to find out more about the scope for securing external finance for your business, why not come along to one of the “Meet the Funder” events?

 4. What does the Programme involve?

Phase 1 of the Programme involves a series of free “Meet the Funder” Events where you will have the opportunity to find out more about the range of options open to businesses seeking external finance. Phases 2 and 3 of the Programme involve a series of skills development workshops and one to one mentoring support to help businesses to develop the skills and confidence to secure external finance.