From Patricia Banyard
I do not know about you but I am getting hot under the collar about the recent rent hikes in Hebden Bridge and the effect it is having on the face of our precious village. I am a shop owner and my death knell is tolling. In three months time I too will succumb and finally close my doors unless I win the lottery or some other miracle occurs. I think it is a shame that the council has chosen to raise its rental demands by between 30%-70% this year for small business premises like mine and I know of a few others too. Other small shops like me cannot cope and will be forced out. It has been happening for a few years now and despite trying my best to hang on in there they have finally got me too. Just because food outlets can afford the higher rents should not mean that Hebden Bridge becomes a village of fast food etc, it will not benefit the food outlets in the long term as you have to have more than that to attract the custom and I am sure that all the cafe and restaurant owners would agree with me on this point. So Goodbye to all my loyal regulars from the last antique shop in Hebden Bridge.
To quote Adam Smith 'One extremely positive aspect of a market-based economy is that it forces people to think about what other people want.'
Maybe people don't want antiques? If people did, they would buy them, you could afford your rent and other overheads. Your shop would still exist.
So, there's a potential new business to be born? One that through the selfishness of capitalism will provide a valuable service or resource to the community. If not, it will surely fail.
The 'invisible hand' strikes again!
Surely it is survival of the fittest? Where there is a demand, an outlet will thrive. Where there is a poor business proposition, it will fail.
Hebden's successes are not limited to food outlets. There are many other retailers who have been going for many years. Others, clearly unpopular with the public, have fallen by the wayside. How else can it possibly work?
From John Taylor
Do what I did - head for Todmorden. Antique shops there doing well, thriving market, lots of parking. Admittedly not much in the way of eateries if you don't count the Bear, Tenth Muse and several decent pubs, or posh clothes shops. I know its a bit rough around the edges but hey at least the people driving 4x4's tend to have hay bales in them and real mud.
On second thoughts stay in overpriced overcrowded Hebden with its desperate attempt to convince itself it's still a great little town with great little shops - the rate they're closing all the buildings will soon be able to be converted into flats and St George's Square can be turned into a car park
From Patricia Banyard
Monday, 30 April 2007
Thanks for your suggestions, Todmorden would be a great place to trade, I agree. However I prefer to stay in Hebden Bridge. Hopefully I will continue as I am. Negotiations are swinging in my favour and I would like to continue what I started years ago. Sad to see some of our more established businesses leaving this year. Past and Present closed its doors recently after many many years in the town. Forced out by the rent hikes mentioned earlier. Hebden Bridge's canal boat business has been in our local papers forced to operate under similar difficult circumstances and constraints, I am sure we would all be very sad to see them leave and I hope that they will remain operating on our canal systems.
I hear that many of the local residents and shop owners are joining together to oppose any future unwelcome developments, this can only be a good thing. A meeting has been called this week, Wednesday 2nd May.
As for all those comments about "survival of the fittest" etc. What nonsense, I was hoping to raise a discussion on the businesses being forced out unfairly to make way for developments and chain stores etc. Too many people think they are Alan Sugar these days. Lets have a bit of community spirit instead.