Don’t blame the councils

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If a local business turns a good profit will the owner say “None of this is down to me. It’s down to the fact that the councils promote the town well, manage my cash flow, let me off my rates and provide a lovely wheelie bin.” ?

As a small business owner I was incensed to read Steve Argent’s claims. I know how hard it can be to turn a profit. However, Steve Argent will gain no sympathy through lambasting the councils and apparently failing to recognise that he must in some part be the author of his business problems.

All businesses know they have a responsibility to pay rates. This is an overhead and is accounted for in any cash-flow forecast. All businesses have a marketing plan. All businesses understand risk. The lack of a wheelie bin is not an excuse for non-payment of rates. If he had a wheelie bin would that make his business more profitable?

As for blaming the council for doing nothing to support the town, Steve Argent should take a leaf out of the book of many businesses who are striving to find solutions for themselves. There are examples of business owners who regularly join together to promote the town. Think of the ice-rink in the winter. Think of the competition for the best window dressing. Look at the improvements to the town square and proposals for ongoing improvement to Hall Leys Park. By the way, all of these initiatives are supported and assisted by Matlock Town Council.

Then there’s the business advice service promoted by the district council. Failing that, there’s ample advice on the BusinessLink website. And of course there is, presumably, the opportunity to discuss cash-flow with your bank.

Of course it’s hard taking retirement from the public sector into a print business. Business is tough, full stop. And print businesses are notoriously one of the most competitive businesses around.

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