Saturday, 11 February 2017

Small business is

suffering around us. Adding to the excessive amounts of "red tape", restrictions, and more there have been the problems with the unreliability of the power supply to the state.
Our local shopping centre has two empty premises at present. Another will soon go. I wonder how several others survive. There never seems to be anyone in them. Add to that the fact that the excellent maintenance man quit  because they cut his hours back from full time to half time and then to just three hours a day...and still expected him to do the same amount of work.  The new contract cleaners - who reportedly cost much less of course - aren't doing the job properly. (I know something about this as one of the people on the old cleaning staff was also a craftswoman and I know her in another context.)
Add to that they are putting in an emergency bypass on one of the main roads which leads directly into the shopping centre. There are almost constant traffic delays.
The owner of the shopping centre is interested in just one thing, the shops being full and the people in them paying their rent. Oh yes, they pay rent - a lot of rent.
Then yesterday there was a story in our state newspaper. If the facts are correct this is even more iniquitous than the problems I know the local shopkeepers are facing. The owner of a small cafe in the park which endures "the Clipsal" - a car race held on the streets and through the park each March - was reportedly told he had to give 28% of his takings and buy his stock from the company which has the catering rights to the event for the duration of it. The cafe owner is already under pressure because of the building of an extension to the O-bahn. It is what has caused this present problem too. This extra would come close to ruining his livelihood. It has a financial impact on all business around the venue. The government claims they need to wear it because of their location and the money it brings into the state.
But should they be paying people to put them out of business, to make a loss? Of course they shouldn't. If the government wants to run the event then they have to do so in a way which has a minimal impact on existing business. The owner of the cafe should be permitted to continue trading as he always does. He shouldn't have to pay anyone else and he should be able to buy from his regular suppliers rather than risk breaching any contract with them too. The catering firm is a very, very big one. Their prices are outrageous because they have a captive audience. 
Did anyone think this one through? What price are people prepared to pay.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear about these things happening in your city.

Melbourne has been hosting the Grand Prix for some time now. We are told of its many benefits, but the State and local governments help the promoters while the residents and businesses pay in many other ways also - disruption of Albert Park, construction, demolition of facilities, disruption of trade, crowds, and - what effects me, if the wind is from the south - loud noise from 10 kms away.

I suspect that "unexpected consequences" are responsible for some of these deleterious effects (though some many have been anticipated and ignored). Similarly, some Coles supermarkets are going to have a limit of 12 items at the self-service check-outs due to some people not being totally accurate/honest when using them. I look forward to unexpected consequences here too.


Anonymous said...

Why should anybody have to hand over so much of their trade to the organisers of an event, just because they are in the precinct being disrupted for that event? What about the regular customers who are barred from a local business?

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