It's the unfairness of a system that puts business owners last that has riled David Moore.
I'm really tired and not in the mood to rant, but I'm feeling pretty broken and it's hard not to. In fact, I can actually feel my blood pressure going through the roof.
So, I finally opened the door of Pied à Terre last week – the door I painted (along with the whole house), the window that I cleaned, the step that I gave three coats of floor paint and the railings that got two coats of Hammerite. I re-planted the window boxes, redesigned the table decorations, bought a carpet cleaner and scrubbed the house top to bottom. I then opened a restaurant that has had a Michelin star for 28 years, with a spanking brand new website, a new menu and new staffing level in what is now the new norm. And yes, I am thoroughly pissed off.
I'm pissed off with Boris closing my restaurant, but expecting me to continue to pay the rent while I have no income. I'm pissed off with the insurance companies being allowed to renege on business interruption payments and, of course, Boris et al allowing that to happen. I feel for every owner who for no fault of their own has gone to the wall.
I'm pissed off with Sadiq Khan for allowing the congestion charge to increase at a time when we need people traveling to central London to spend money.
I'm pissed off with hearing about people working from home. I'm sick of hearing the bleating voice saying come back to the office. Make them pay business rates if they work from home; withdraw capital gains-free tax on homes if working from home. It's a business so make them pay – they will then come back to the office, the coffee shop, the barber, the pub.
I'm pissed off with the constant lack of fairness and the lack of imagination and drive to reset the norm and pivot to a new and fairer world for the small business owner like me.
Now is the time to tackle business rates. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reset, go with sales taxes and drop the much-hated rateable value system.
I'm pissed off with rent reviews that can only ever go one "upwardly moving only" way – can you imagine opening a bank account and the bank telling you the charges will only ever go up? No, it is totally unfair.
I'm in a rent review and my review date is September 2019, so they are looking for a rise even now in the midst of this pandemic; can you start to understand why I'm pissed off?
Now is the time for a seismic shift on business rates, working from home and congestion charge
Life is full of next times; this is not a moment to think of next times. Now is the time for a seismic shift on business rates, working from home and congestion charge. We have wiped out 15 years of growth in three months and that is tricky to bounce back from.
Number 10 and 11 – I'm here if you want to talk.
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