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Entrepreneurs Panel

Brian Hay
Charlie Mullins
Tony Caldeira
David Pollock
Richard O'Sullivan
Steve Purdham
Julie Meyer
Jeremy Roberts
Michael Oliver
Jennie Johnson
Laura Tenison
Debbie Pierce

Rate date

Business rating specialists are warning hoteliers they have just weeks left to reclaim tens of thousands of pounds each in overpaid business rates from the last five years.

Hoteliers are paying an average of 13.4 per cent per year too much on their business rates and the majority are unaware the rates can be challenged. The deadline for any challenges, however, is 31 March.

Currently hoteliers may be taxed on their expertise, levels of service and the nature of furniture and fittings but rating assessments should be based on the rental values as at 1 April 2008 at a time when property values were falling. Successful appeals result in typical savings of over £21,000.

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Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.