Hike in rates blamed for Sudbury shop closure

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THE manager of a Sudbury health food shop has blamed the town’s dwindling trade and expensive business rates for the store’s impending closure.

Golden Harvest Health Foods, which has been running for nine years in North Street, is due to cease trading on Saturday.

Dann Read, who has managed the store for a year, said a decline in the amount of people venturing up North Street had resulted in the decision to shut up shop.

“The footfall is not what it used to be and we’ve seen that with the closure of Bonmarché recently,” said the 29-year-old, whose wife Emily also works at the shop.

“There has been a fall in trade in North Street and it is sad to see.”

The former Sudbury Upper School student, who lives in Sudbury, said the difficulty in keeping the shop afloat was not aided by high business rates.

The store’s owner Robert Hawkins claimed the bill had risen by £10,000 during the last decade, from an initial figure of £8,000 in 2003.

“The rates have gone up at around £1,000 a year and we are now paying £18,000,” said Mr Read.

“If the trade is declining and the rates are going up, something is not right and it is not economically feasible to keep going. It is like being fined to trade in North Street because there aren’t any benefits.”

For the full story see this week’s Free Press.