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Shop owners in Southend are protesting this morning (Thursday March 14th) against rising buisness rates.
They are calling for the Government to scrap a planned increase in next week's budget.
There are concerns jobs could be lost and shops will close if the proposed 2.6% rise goes ahead on April 1st.
Andrew Allison, National Grassroots Coordinator for the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "Local retailers across Essex are suffering from the crippling level of business rates.
"Many have been forced to close and jobs have been lost as businesses struggle to make ends meet.
"Empty shops make for an unattractive environment that can have a negative impact on even the most successful of businesses.
"The Government should abandon its planned increase in business rates before any further damage is done to the local economy."