Upgrade disaster for phone shop
A SIMPLE flyer handed around Casino with abusiness logo on the top said it plainly in black and white.
‘We are closing down due to the decline in business caused by the street renovations’.
According to owner Denise Blake, Phone Scene, located in Centre Street at Casino, has become the first victim of the decline in business caused by the street renovations in the CBD.
“While the renovations aren’t affecting us directly, people aren’t shopping in town any more,” she said.
“They can’t find parking anywhere so they decide to head to Lismore where they can get everything they need done there.”
A quick glance at Phone Scene’s financial figures tells the story.
“We were averaging sales of around $20,000 a month for last year until December, just after the renovations began,” shop manager David Sanders said.
“Now we’re down to about $12,000 a month in sales and we just can’t afford to stay open.
“We also didn’t get the Christmas ‘kick’ we had hoped for.”
Ms Blake confirmed the desperation of their situation.
“We’ve only been open since July 2008, so we don’t have the collateral behind us to get us through until the renovations are finished,” she said. “My daughter and son-in-law run the shop six days a week, while I work two jobs.
“There’s just no more money to cover the bills.”
Richmond Valley Council director of works Gary Murphy confirmed the timetable to finish the street upgrade was for the end of June.
“We need to have the renovations finished by then as that is the grant stimulus timetable from the Government.” he said.
Casino Chamber of Commerce president Michael Greentree was saddened by the news of Phone Scene’s closure.
“Everyone’s trade is down and it’s a shame when any business goes as they won’t be around to reap the benefit of the renovations,” he said.