An already embattled local small business economy is facing a threat today and it’s the unfortunate by-product of a decision by council to stop council workers from stopping off at small take away shops.
A mobile food van owner from Dubbo is going to the council depot and to workplaces offering takeaway food and local shop owners are concerned they’re losing business.
Steve Polley from the school shop in Arthur Street believes they won’t be the only ones to lose out.
“We will lose major business from council workers who are going out to jobs across the local government area because many stopped by at shops like ours to get takeaway food, now they can’t,” he said.
“This has a drip down effect on local suppliers of things like bread, milk, newspapers too. The guys weren’t exploiting the system in my opinion and this will have a major effect on a number of small takeaway food shops in our area.”
Council general manager Michael Tolhurst said an instruction for workers not to stop during working hours in council vehicles to get food was to create a more effective and efficient council.
“This group [from Dubbo] must have seen an opening in the market and really they have the right to sell to townspeople if they want,” he said.
“I have appointed an operational manager who will oversee efficient work practices and also how we use our vehicles.”
Mr Polley said he hoped a compromised could be reached.
“This is an unfortunate situation for take away food outlets and we hope to talk with the council general manager about how we can work with them’’ he said
Mr Tolhurst recognised small business was being hard hit by his decision and said he would talk with members of the small business community tomorrow about identifying and articulating in a rational way the problems they have and how these can be fixed.
“We hopefully can satisfy their objectives and discuss better ways of fixing the situation,” he said.
Wellington development incorporated’s president Jamie Gersbach believes if the take away shops believe they are losing out WDI will help.
“If our members are suffering by this they should come to us and we will help them,’’ he said.