Gants Hill trader forced to shut business calls on council for help
A trader has called on the council to do more to keep local businesses alive in the financial crisis after he was forced to close his fast food restaurant.
Waleed Butt pulled down the shutters of The Griller, in Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill for the last time last week, blaming high business rates and lack of support for its failure.
He said he was angered by headlines suggesting small businesses would be in line for rate “holidays” that he has yet to see.
The 48-year-old father of four told the Recorder: “I just don’t know what I am going to do to support myself and my family. “I have the bailiffs knocjing at the door and I am having to take tablets for my blood pressure and for depression.
“Small businesses like mine have to get more relief - at least 50 per cent. We are the people generating employment in the economy, but the government and councils are taking away all of our budget.”
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A spokesman from Redbridge Council reiterated that central government, not the council sets business rates.
He said: “The business rates team has also been in contact with Mr Butt to give him advice about trying to reduce the rateable value of his business which, in turn, would reduce his business rates.
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“While the Council’s business support services have been reduced due to budget savings the Council continues to work hard to engage small businesses and try and help them.
“We are active in a number of areas that are specific to job creation, training and apprenticeships.
“We also continue to support business partnerships based in our town centres including the Gants Hill Business Partnership who are planning a number of activities next year to promote the centre and its businesses.”