Owner pleads for rate relief help to support new business

Iya Abdul Rahman PNL-161024-173840001
Iya Abdul Rahman PNL-161024-173840001

The owner of a business which opened earlier this year says she is desperate for help from the council as she struggles to pay her business rates.

Iya Abdul Rahman, 26, opened Yoyo-Gurt in Market Street in Aylesbury in July and said she started struggling to make ends meet just a month later.

Mrs Rahman said: “In September and October things got tough – so tough that I had to take money from people I knew so I could pay the bills.

“I have tried to get help from the council and said that if they can’t help I would have to close my door.

“I don’t know why my rates are so high – it is almost half my rent.”

Mrs Rahman says her frozen yoghurt business has a rateable value of £17,000 and that she has to pay £900 a month in business rates.

She said: “I have heard that bigger businesses just a couple of doors down pay up to £300 less and I don’t know why that should be the case.”

Mrs Rahman founded the business with her husband Nizar, however because of their financial plight he has returned to Iraq to work as a petroleum engineer.

Mrs Rahman said: “If he wasn’t working we wouldn’t be able to pay the bills.

“I would rather he was here than working in a country that is not safe.

“I work 13 hours a day seven days a week on my own because I can’t afford staff.

“I put my life savings into this business and I’m not ready to give up yet.”

The Herald contacted Cllr Steve Bowles, district council cabinet member for business development, to make him aware of Yoyo-Gurt’s plight.

He said: “Our hands are tied really because business rates are set by central government, but I would urge them to get in touch with me and the revenues team at AVDC and we can advise them on what rate relief is available.”