Business rates for one Devon bakery have more than doubled, rising from £9,000 a year to £21,000.
Along with other small firms in Salcombe, the Upper Crust Bakery will now have to fork out more, following a review by the Valuation Office.
Ben Holt-Wilson, who runs the bakery, said an appeal against the increase had been rejected. “It came as a bit of a shock, but I’m going to have to swallow it. Along with commodity rises and utility bills, it’s just another thing to deal with.”
He added: “The bakery has been here for hundreds of years – there is a shop with bakery at the back. But with these ratings people cannot understand why we’re not on an industrial estate.”
The seasonal business loses money for seven months of the year and depends on tourists in the high season, said Holt-Wilson. “We’re now the only bakery in the town centre – three bakeries in a 10-mile radius have closed in the last few months,” he added.
A spokeswoman from the Valuation Office said it aimed to ensure the business rates system was fair and up to date, ensuring that it reflected changes in the market.
She said: “The Valuation Office Agency has worked closely with ratepayers in Plymouth during the revaluation programme, through ratepayers forums and representative bodies such as the Federation of Small Businesses and the Devon & Cornwall Business Council, and will continue to work with them.”