Priti visits local business struggling with soaring overheads and ‘sclerotic local government bureaucracy’
Witham’s MP, Priti Patel, has visited the offices of Retrocorn Ltd at Moss Road, Witham to talk through the company’s current issues with soaring overheads, increasing business rate demands and local council bureaucracy. Retrocorn is a leading manufacturer of a wide variety of popcorn products, made with natural ingredients and free of artificial flavouring and colouring. It has a world first sugar free protein popcorn and provides a range of co-packing services.
During her meeting with the company’s Managing Director, Greg Taylor on 24th February 2023, Priti was given an update on the company’s current difficulties with the escalating cost of business rates demanded by Braintree District Council (BDC) and the very slow pace in which the Council processed applications for the Covid Additional Relief Fund (CARF) in 2021 and 2022, taking many months at every stage. The company’s application to BDC for assistance with hardship rates relief has proceeded at an equally slow rate and has even been turned down once but was reinstated when the decision was challenged by Retrocorn. However, one year later no support has been offered.
Commenting on her meeting at Retrocorn Ltd, Priti said: “It was a useful opportunity to chat through the issues affecting Greg’s business and many other small businesses right now. I come from a small business background, so I understand how tough it is for the sector right now. Local and national Government needs to be taking a much more efficient, pro-active and supportive approach in their dealings with the business sector. Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy and will play a major part in Britain’s economic resurgence in the future but sclerotic local government bureaucracy does not help. I will continue to lobby Government and, in this case, BDC on their behalf.”
Greg Taylor, Managing Director of Retrocorn Ltd said: “I was very pleased with Priti’s swift request for a meeting after I wrote to her office about the problems we are having. In particular, the constant battle with BDC, in which we continually have to chase them to keep our applications for CARF and rates relief moving. We had a very useful discussion with Priti in which we covered all the key issues and it was clear that she understands the pressures on small businesses and wants to help.”