Faced with a 70% drop in trade, fuel filling stations say they cannot pay rates

Faced with a 70% drop in trade, fuel filling stations say they cannot pay rates
"While our members are pleased to remain open, they cannot be expected to pay rates at a time when their income has been drastically reduced." Picture Dan Linehan

Any council plans for relief of commercial rates must include fuel filling stations which have now seen turnover fall by 70% their representative trade body has said.

The Irish Petrol Retailers Association (IPRA) has written to Ministers John Paul Phelan and Eoghan Murphy asking for forecourts to be included in any plan for rate relief.

David Blevings, spokesperson for the IPRA said: “Retail sites have been designated an essential service in the recent list of essential service providers published by Government."

"While our members are happy to serve the emergency services, heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers, defence forces and essential county council workers their turnover has reduced by circa 70%. This is due to the obvious reduction in traffic volumes as people stay at home and consumers’ switch to buying only essential items," he said.

Local forecourts are often the only shop in many Irish villages open for many customers. Of the 1,000 retail forecourt locations in the Republic, eighty per cent are owned and operated by sole traders and family businesses.

"While our members are pleased to remain open, they cannot be expected to pay rates at a time when their income has been drastically reduced," Mr Blevins said.

"We have asked the Ministers to swiftly introduce a local authority rates relief package."

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