James Nix, the local election candidate on the city’s northside for the Green Party, has called on Limerick city council to halve rates for new occupiers of premises.
Under his proposal, any business taking new office or retail space would pay half-rates for the first year of operation. This has huge potential to kickstart enterprise, he said. As a city we can foster new ideas and expanding enterprises – and this is a key initiative to help deliver on our potential.
Defeatism will do nothing for very high unemployment. The time has come to focus on the solutions. The reality is that if 100,000 start-ups get off the ground, and go on to employ two or three people each, we can turn the unemployment situation around across Ireland, he said. Yes, we need to be more self-reliant, but this is a recession we can lift ourselves from, he said.
The City council has its part to play. Leaving city rates unchanged will see, at best, a handful of new premises opening. By halving rates [for new occupiers] the city will see more than a doubling of new premises opening their doors.
New occupations are the first step in tackling the long sections of empty shopfronts that have become all too common on some of our streets, he said. By attracting new occupiers we can ease unemployment, solve security problems along empty sections of streets and support jobs in neighbouring shops, he said.
And there’s all the positive publicity for the city in taking an innovative step to encourage start-ups. This is a win-win for city hall to grasp, he said