Costs of running a local business are crippling, says a popular Ecclesall Road shop owner as the family business are being “forced” to move.

John Hutchinson, 51, who owns Hardy’s Gunsmiths and his partner Julie Naylor, 54, are moving to Alderson Road, as they can no longer afford to keep the shop running in its current location.

Mr Hutcinson said: “Everything is going up, our business rates have gone up to £10,000 where as two years ago it was £7,000.

“The hard part of it is you are working probably six days out of the seven, to pay for overheads and not making any profit. For the last 18 months I have been putting in the work, coming in just to get to the end of the lease, rather than making any money for myself.

“It’s just not worth it anymore, the added expenses of owning a business round here are just crippling local business’.”

Ms Naylor added: “It’s really sad because you get to know everyone who works around you, you get to know all the other small business owners and it’s our own little hub.”

Hardy’s is not the only business that has been struggling on the road over the past few years because of the increase in business rates.

Katie Peckett, 47 who owns, Katie Peckett flowers, has owned her store for 30 years.

Mrs Peckett said: “The rates back when I started couldn’t have been very much because I can’t really remember how much they were, now though there have been times where I have gone about paying my rates over paying myself.

“I’ve worked a full month and not made any profit because my rates are about £500 a month.”

Steven Knowles, 49, who owns Knowles & Son Cobbler & Keysmith made an appeal this year because he was struggling to pay his business rates, with his rent on top.

Mr Knowles said: “It’s unsustainable, my rates are basically three quarters of my rent. I’ve been here 22 years and in the last five years and I was told my rateable value was correct. My rent’s about £13,000 a year and my business rates are nearly £8,000. How is that fair?”

Councillor Mohammed Mahroof said: “It does concern me the number of empty retail units on Ecclesall Road.

“Rent combined with business rates is a tremendous burden on businesses.”