Lewes Forum thread

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Small businesses

On 16 Jun 2013 at 6:49pm Belladonna wrote:
On 16 Jun 2013 at 9:25pm wrote:
Can anyone tell me what the district council or ESCC do to encourage and support small businesses in Lewes?
On 16 Jun 2013 at 10:30pm Small business wrote:
On 16 Jun 2013 at 10:50pm B&B Landlady wrote:
Absolutely nothing I'm aware of (except refuse to stock brochures for virtually all the B&Bs in the town because we refuse to join their very expensive scheme!)
On 16 Jun 2013 at 11:01pm The old mayor wrote:
Didn't they use to put up Xmas lights once a year ! oh and empty the bins weekly, for an extra fee !
On 17 Jun 2013 at 5:23am SHS wrote:
They actively discourage small business with incorrect interpretation of planning laws - you have to have time and money to prove them wrong. From experience. We employ and train staff, who then pay taxes and have money to spend - surely a benefit to the community, the local and national economy. Yet we are treated like criminals and certainly not helped!
On 17 Jun 2013 at 7:14am Grumpy trader wrote:
In my day . You could apply for a reduction in rates mine was halved , I was only told about it by anotter trader in conversation , don't know if this still is the case worth an asked though
On 17 Jun 2013 at 9:07am Belladonna wrote:
Interesting. So the Tory controlled ESCC and Tory controlled DC - the so-called party of small business - do (by above accounts) nothing for the people it claims to represent. Any Tory councillor, or for that matter, any councillor, care to come on here and comment ?
On 17 Jun 2013 at 9:12am Nevil Rook wrote:
"We employ and train staff, who then pay taxes and have money to spend - surely a benefit to the community, the local and national economy"
You employ staff to make you money.end of.
On 17 Jun 2013 at 11:18am The old mayor wrote:
What's more is that big conglomerates only deal with other huge concerns, the procedure for small business to obtain tenders is very time consuming and onerous, the muti nationals have whole departments just dealing with procurement and tenders. A small business is just running around actually doing their business and can't cope with all that paperwork. It's not a level playing field. It's amazing that we have small business anymore the hurdles we have to jump !
On 17 Jun 2013 at 12:47pm the black shadow wrote:
Whether or not business men do it for themselves, they do employ people,and that is a good thing.Would you rather work for someone you can talk to,face to face,or a multi-national corporation based in Ruritania? A local man will spend his profits locally and will treat people better,if only out of fear of reprisal.Unfortunately the future has been decided for us and in the new feudal system corporate directors are to be our new overlords ruling their debt-slaves.If there is any choice,better take it now or it will be too late.
On 17 Jun 2013 at 3:40pm Lewes Lady wrote:
Dare I suggest that although Tory councillors could do more to help SMEs, some of the gripes on here could be down to non-Tory council staff making life difficult for people on a day to day, at the coal-face basis?
On 17 Jun 2013 at 3:59pm belladonna wrote:
It's a real concern to me that dozens of small businesses, will be within a couple of years, probably forced out of Lewes, because the district and county council have jumped into bed with a major developer. I'm talking about all the creative small industries that have sprung up on the Phoenix estate that will have nowhere to rent once the Santon plans are approved. I'm told that James Page informed some of the current occupants of the site that 'they could always go to Newhaven.' Why are the councils not supporting these businesses ?
On 17 Jun 2013 at 9:17pm SHS wrote:
@Nevil Rook - "You employ staff to make you money.end of.".
Wrong. Your attitude is typical of the current anti-business fashion. I employ staff to lessen my work load, to give them an opportunity to improve their job prospects and to earn a living. Fact - all my staff earn more than I do as their employer.
On 18 Jun 2013 at 1:10am insomniac wrote:
SHS†-††would†your business make more or less money if you didnít employ these people?† Would your income go up or come down? If it would go down, youíre relying on others labours for your income.††If it would go up, youíre not really on message with the business community Neville Rook is suspicious of. Iím certainly not anti-business, but the idea that businesses are actually in it, not to make obscene profits for their shareholders and board members, but†to help everybody in†society find fulfilling well paid roles is rather laughable, donít you think?† But back to the†OP, how do you feel about big businesses being allowed to avoid paying the corporation taxes you have to pay?† Unless, of course, youíre also†a†business that(perfectly legally)†pretends itís profit is made in a tax haven so you donít pay your share either?
On 18 Jun 2013 at 9:28am Lewes Lady wrote:
An alternative view Belladonna is that many of the 'creative industries' in North St have been there for 4-5 years on the back of the financial disaster that befell the previous developer. They have benefitted from uneconomically low rents which have acted rather like seed capital; now that they are established, shouldn't they pay more realistic rents in the new Brooks Road development? Bus companies and a timber 'yard' could be based anywhere in the greater town...
On 18 Jun 2013 at 9:40am Belladonna wrote:
You say they have benefitted from I economically low rents, but I understand most of the units they occupy were pretty much empty when they took them on. The Arts and artists have proven rejuvenating effects on local economies and I do believe some low cost rental provision should be made as part of the new development. It just surprises me that our councils and councillors are not supporting these small businesses.
On 18 Jun 2013 at 8:07pm Lewes Lady wrote:
Exactly - the units were empty after Angel's site assembly process, so NAMA thought that any money was better than none when they inherited the bad debt. That is no reason why the rents should continue to be so low when the rest of the area is redeveloped.
By making the point about regeneration, you sound like James Page - that's probably precisely why he suggests that the Lewes lot could move to Newhaven!
On 19 Jun 2013 at 10:27am Belladonna wrote:
One of the big problems with Lewes is that high rents are forcing out small independent and innovative businesses. Lewes will become a clone town of chain stores if this continues to happen. Protected or low rent units should be offered for businesses that employ, say , less than 5 people, or have less than a certain turnover each year. The individuality and vibrancy that Lewes is noted and loved for will be lost if we don't support these small ventures. If we can spend billions bolstering private sector banks, we can surely help out these creative entrepreneurs.

The only good thing MT ever did was to introduce the Enterprise Allowance scheme, which gave people on the dole an extra 40£ a week to assist setting up their own businesses - it inadvertently helped many struggling artists and musicians pursue their dreams for a year with the added bonus for the government of massaging unemployment figures lower. Some creative thinking is needed from the local councils, nor necessarily in the form of extra dole, but in the form of rent controls or protected areas for new and small business ventures ?

Having spoken to a few of those small ventures down on the Phoenix they almost all say they will not be able to afford Brooks Rd rents and will probably close. Such a shame.

I notice we still have NO councillors of any persuasion willing to comment on this thread.
On 19 Jun 2013 at 11:33am Passing by wrote:
Contact them for small business rates relief. It has been extended until 2014 - if your office/premis is small enough they sometimes give 100% relief. It will come down to the size of your property you occupy for your company

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