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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Doors close, jobs go in Benalla

Benalla's hospitality industry is feeling the pinch with one restaurant going into voluntary administration last week, and several others up for sale.

MONIQUE FREER February 12, 2014 10:25am

Up to nine jobs have been lost following the closure of Benalla restaurant Don Giovanni’s on Thursday.

Owner Loris Hunter made the decision on Thursday to close her doors permanently and go into voluntary administration, after the business had been struggling financially.

Her daughter Virginia Hunter — who had been working on a voluntary basis — said the family was devastated to close the business.

‘‘It wasn’t a decision that was made lightly,’’ she said.

‘‘Mum is an emotional wreck ... she is lost.’’

Loris took over the restaurant in April last year with her husband Andrew and prided herself on running a family business that catered to the Benalla community.

She told the Ensign at the time that she hoped to provide local jobs and give young people experience in their first job.

‘‘We’d like to thank the staff for their loyalty and hard work; the staff have been absolutely fantastic,’’ Miss Hunter said.

‘‘Everyone’s known that it might be happening for a while but we were giving it all we could to try and keep it going.’’

Miss Hunter said the tough economy and recent hot weather had contributed to the business’ fast decline, as people were reluctant to spend money.

‘‘No-one has money,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s been a really hot summer too so people don’t want to leave their houses and if they do they want to go somewhere where it’s freezing cold inside, not just cool.’’

See full story in this week’s Ensign.

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