Yamba business bows to economic pressure

By JURIS GRANEY

SUE Hughes has made the toughest decision of her life ? she will close the doors to her business, Chioux Boutique, in mid-July.

The Yamba Chamber of Commerce president said current retail trends as well as additional commitments outside of her shop had forced the closure.

Her business joins another six that, in the past couple of months, have simply closed their doors, unable to continue trading.

More than 30 businesses in the Lower Clarence are on the market and a further 12 have changed hands in the past couple of months.

"I am working full-time plus working on the various projects with the Chamber and am finding working six days a week doesn't leave a lot of time that it warrants to put back into the shop," she said.

"The current trend in retail spending has forced me to close my doors and I know there are many other businesses in Yamba thinking of doing the same."

Sky rocketing fuel prices and a recent interest rate rise have all been blamed for poor trading as well as shoppers heading to larger regions like Coffs Harbour and Lismore.

Maclean Chamber of Commerce president Bob Little said the consensus of members was that 'times are tough'.

"The spending power of a small community is directly af- fected by downturns in the industrial sectors of the town," Mr Little said.

"The sugar industry has had some hard times as has the fishing industry and, of course, the drought and petrol prices. These factors will be directly passed onto the retail sector."

Mr Little said he held a positive outlook for the future.

"There is considerable interest in the town from investors outside the area and there are no empty shops in the town," he said.



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