Tony Groves, Lady Scarlett's Tea Parlour, The Esplanade, Ventnor:

I own and run this small cafe with my wife.

We recently received a letter from the Visit Isle of Wight bid levy to pay £120 for this year's contribution to promote the Isle of Wight to bring tourists to the Island.

The levy was put out to businesses to vote yes or no. I voted no but it was voted in.

I felt it was unfair. The levy is now in its final year of a five-year term.

On receipt of the first letter, my wife rang the Bid department stating we was unable to pay the levy due to the fact we have only been trading since July 4 and it had been very hard to make money with a reduction of seating in our establishment due to Covid-19 restrictions.

I normally have 12 covers inside and 14 covers outside but with the restrictions this is reduced to eight and six respectively.

We then received another letter stating we had seven days to pay £120 — reduced from £150 because of Covid — or we will be taken to court for non payment.

My wife rang again and said we were struggling to pay.

We were told that we received the government grant and there is no reason why we couldn't pay.

They also said the letters were sent out at the end of September when businesses have made profit but we have not made profit at all.

My wife asked why don't supermarkets, petrol stations and the like pay the levy but got no real response Furthermore, the leader of the IW Council was actively telling people to stay away from the Island plus the government telling people not to travel unless it was essential.

Also, it is my understanding the ferry companies were not taking bookings for coaches, campervans or caravans.

It has been tough for all business on the Island granted but to pay for something that I don't benefit from. I'm sure there was enough money in the levy pot not to pay this year's levy.

We reluctantly paid the bid as we didn't want to go to court.

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