Pictured at Shannon Chamber’s rates seminar (from left): Gearoid Costelloe, partner in charge, Grant Thornton, Limerick; Helen Downes, chief executive, Shannon Chamber; and Tony O’Brien, Irida Consulting Limited. Photo: Eamon Ward.
Following a briefing on commercial rates, delivered to Shannon Chamber members by local government specialist Tony O’Brien, who also sits on Chambers Ireland Policy Council, a small grouping of Chamber members have been tasked with examining commercial rates in greater detail.
The grouping, which is representative of the many sectors operating in Shannon, has been assembled to enable Shannon Chamber prepare a submission to Clare County Council in advance of their striking a rates budget for 2016.
Commenting on the decision to establish this grouping, Shannon Chamber chief executive Helen Downes said: “Rates is an issue which exercises the minds of finance executives in most companies as it’s a big cost on a profit and loss account. It’s a topic which members continually bring to our attention and while we have had discussion on it before, we felt it was timely to invite members to actively participate in a working group and prepare a submission for presentation to Clare County Council.
“The basis of this submission will be driven by member input and we are actively encouraging our member companies to communicate with us on any issues concerning rates specific to their companies and also, to put forward any suggestions they may have on how the rates system might be changed.
“The Shannon Chamber rates grouping will examine how rates are currently used, assess if there is scope to expand receipts from other funding sources, and seek to prepare a pre-budget submission with implementable proposals and costs/benefits. The output will be member-driven.
“We feel this is a process that has to be undertaken, otherwise the rates debate will never abate. We have to look at how rates impacts both sides, the Council and the business sector,” added Ms Downes.