Small firms work flat out to survive

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I READ the article in last week’s Dispatch (‘Parking Charges Helping To ‘Kill’ Heart Of Hucknall’) with interest.

Firstly, I would like to applaud the efforts of Chris Thorne in opposing the increased parking charges in Hucknall town centre. He quite rightly points out that this is a massive contributoing factor in the demise of Hucknall town centre.

Having visited many small towns around the country, I have noticed that the ones with free parking thrive. Instead of talking about it, as we all do, he is valiantly trying to do something about it. Thankyou, Chris.

I hope that local small businesses picked up on Coun Chris Baron’s comment in the aforementioned article. He said: “Local businesses have to do something to attract people to come and use their business and to compete with Tesco!”

What planet is this man on? What more can a small business do when Tesco wants everything?

I visited Tesco (very rare for me) on Mother’s Day weekend and was appalled to see a massive display of flowers, bouquets, plants, etc. set up outside the store (in addition to the one already existing inside the store) and I could have wept for our local florists.

The biggest weekend of the year for them and Tesco wanted to snatch it from them. Now they have a key-cutting and shoe-repair pod outside the store. How long can the already existing, small, long-established business on Annesley Road survive?

The fancy-dress shop on Annesley Road has ceased tradng soon because it cannot compete with Tesco and JTF (which is now open to the general public and no longer seems to be a wholesale outlet) especially on such occasions as Hallowe’en and New Year when there are massive displays of cheap costumes.

As was rightly pointed out several weeks ago, Tesco does have an unfair advantage in that it has free car parking and one of the things that Ashfield District Council could do to help and support small businesses and our failing town centre would be to offer free parking.

I think that Coun Baron’s comments just added insult to injury when he suggested that when small businesses fail it is somehow their own fault because they are not attractive enough.

The owners of small businesses are working flat out to try and survive.

LESLEY WALL,

Hucknall,

(Address supplied).