Former Mathoura business owners Stuart and Pauline Toy have closed their businesses after all three have suffered a steady decline of income.ZOE MCMAUGH February 26, 2014 4:38am
Former Mathoura business owners Stuart and Pauline Toy understand the closure of their three businesses will have a ‘‘huge impact’’ for the town, but say they had no other choice.
Mrs Toy told the Pastoral Times they were forced to declare bankruptcy after their supermarket, bakery and bed and breakfast suffered a steady decline of income.
‘‘It’s because of a collection of things,’’ Mrs Toy said.
‘‘The logging was stripped out of the local forests and we started losing people from the town,’’ she said.
‘‘Tourism numbers are down.
‘‘We also have the problem that some people think the main shopping centre of the town is the service station on the highway, because signage pointing people to the main street is inadequate – people don’t know the businesses are here.
‘‘If we could have dragged a few more people off the highway, we might have had a chance.
‘‘There is also not enough local support for the businesses.
‘‘It’s too late for us, but if we can do something for the other businesses it would be great.’’
Mrs Toy said she took the issue of inadequate signage to a Murray Shire Council meeting in November, but said red tape and council policy prevented anything from changing.
The couple closed their businesses last week and will soon relocate to Coffs Harbour where their daughter lives.
Mrs Toy said she believes there is interest in the supermarket building, but was unable to comment on what form of business may be opened there.
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