Pot Belly Pies, pictured here after winning last year’s Pick of the Valley Pies competition, is one of 12 businesses in the Coldstream and Yamba streets area on the market.
Pot Belly Pies, pictured here after winning last year’s Pick of the Valley Pies competition, is one of 12 businesses in the Coldstream and Yamba streets area on the market.

A dozen Yamba businesses for sale

IS it the rents, the fluctuating population, a natural cycle or the reality of running your own business that’s responsible for the high number of businesses for sale in Yamba?

This week there’s 12 businesses for sale in Yamba’s Coldstream and Yamba streets alone.

That includes two supermarkets, two clothes shops, a few food outlets, a Laundromat and a bike shop – and they are the ones that are publicly listed for sale.

In Treelands Drive and Yamba Shopping Fair, there’s another six businesses for sale and there’s a restaurant at Angourie on the market.

And in the last month two businesses have simply closed their doors.

For many people wanting to move to Yamba, the only way they can do it is to buy themselves a wage.

So, is it a mass walk out from Australia’s number one town, or is it the nature of small business in a coastal town that more accurately accounts for what is happening.

“People soon realise that the lifestyle they envisaged means working seven days a week and long hours and that can’t be sustained for more than two or three years,” PRD Nationwide real estate agent Grant Gillies said.

He estimates about 70 per cent of businesses make their money in the holiday season, although supermarket owner Angus Suttor said he had noticed a rapid change in this trend in the 14 years he has been in business in Yamba.

“Yamba has great local business,” Mr Suttor said

“I don’t think it’s (a lot of businesses for sale) a bad reflection on Yamba.

“Anywhere on the coast where people are moving about, there are plenty of businesses for sale.”

Karl Causley, who has two Yamba fruit shops for sale, said both shops were very successful, but a growing family meant he could not sustain both.

‘I’ve got four kids and four businesses,” Mr Causley said.

“I see a lot of potential to grow the business and I think it deserves to have somebody who can give the time to it.”

He, like many others selling, isn’t in a hurry and won’t drop the price.

Tom Lucas is the business development executive for the NSW Business Chamber and works closely with businesses in the Northern Rivers, resolving issues and defining plans and goals.

He said any successful business owner or director prepares a business for sale in order to maximise their investment.

He also believed we were still suffering from the global financial crisis and there were pockets of business confidence, but not everyone was feeling it.

“All businesses in the Northern Rivers should develop strategies to survive the bad times,” Mr Lucas said

“Generally speaking, business is more competitive than ever and sea changers have preconceived ideas of success, but I believe Yamba in the future will be the iconic place between Port Macquarie and the Gold Coast.”

For Michael Brooks, whose family has been baking bread for Yamba residents for 110 years, the reality of businesses is often overlooked.

“I can understand why a lot of people get out of small business,” he said.

“It’s hard work and your friends and family are on holidays when you have to work the hardest.”

While his family used to sell wholesale, Mr Brooks said now he can’t compete with Tip Top or Buttercup and fuel prices have made transport costs prohibitive.

“We’ve had to diversify to make it work,” he said.



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