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The importance of high street shops to a charity has been stressed by Demelza children’s hospice.
The organisation plans to open a shop in Tenterden and has responded to concerns that there are too many charity outlets in the town.
A debate has been sparked with those against saying that charity shops are unfair competition to other traders as they get an 80% reduction on business rates and sell new goods.
But those for say they are good for the town, raise funds for the charities and provide volunteering opportunities.
Claire Jordan, head of retail at Demelza, said: “Our shops not only raise vital funds for our children’s hospice service but also offer affordable clothes and gifts for shoppers and the chance to recycle unwanted goods.
“A Demelza shop in Tenterden would also offer a range of voluntary opportunities.
“While it is more affordable for us to run a shop as we receive a discount on business rates, we pay the market rates for all of our other property costs including rent.
“Charity shops provide huge social and economic benefits to the local community and profits help us to fund much-needed services for life-limited and life-threatened children and their families.”
Cllr Mike Carter, president of Tenterden Chamber of Commerce, has complained that charity shops trade unfairly because of the business rate relief and sell some new products in direct competition with independent traders.
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