St Andrews business to close over rise in rates

Occasions in St Andrews. Pic: Google.
Occasions in St Andrews. Pic: Google.

The owners of a specialist card shop in St Andrews have announced they are being forced to close over rising business rates and rents.

Occasions, based on Market Street, sells greeting cards, personalised gifts and balloons.

But it will be closing early in 2019, following five-and-a-half years of trading in the town centre.

Fiona Budd, owner, said that her shop was not the only one in St Andrews to be affected by the rise in business rates.

“We had a 100 per cent rate increase last year,” she explained.

“We lost our small business rate relief because we were over the threshold. I wasn’t over by much.”

While Fiona will be closing the shop in mid-January, she will continue with some elements of the business, such as the sale of balloons and candles, working from home.

She said she was “gutted” over having to make the decision to close.

“We have loads of regular customers,” Fiona added.

“We’re the only proper card shop in St Andrews.

“But I am looking forward to not having to pay the bills, not having to find £3500 each month.

“I’ve got two little kids as well. And because the rates went up, we weren’t able to pay staff, so I’m in here all the time.”

Fiona said she has a band of regular customers, some of whom visit a few times a week for a blether.

“I just want to say thank you to the customers who have stuck by us since we opened.”