Monday 20 May 2019

Shop owner fears for future of Rush

Businesswoman sees three businesses shut down since December

John Manning

A Rush businesswoman has said she fears for the future of the town as its Main Street seems to be shutting down, store by store, with three retailers going out of business on the street in just the last six weeks.

Carmel Kerr runs 'Stitches', an alteration business in the Main Street in Rush, and since the middle of December, she has watched three of her neighbouring businesses disappear from the street.

A ladies and children's fashion store, a sandwich shop and a discount bric-a-brac shop have all closed down forever on Rush Main Street in those six weeks and Carmel admitted she fears for the future of her own business and for the town itself.

Carmel told the Fingal Independent: 'I think losing the bank is the main thing that has happened. There is simply not enough people coming into the town anymore. People are just commuting out of the town and shopping elsewhere.

'The rates bill is a killer too, since I moved from the harbour are to the Main Street about five years ago, I got a rates hike and I'm paying almost €2,600 a year now and I can't put that cost onto the customer because they can't afford it.'

The Rush business woman is afraid for the future of her business and says that at the moment, she has no new business in the store.

Carmle said: 'I'm actually climbing the walls at the moment. I'm sitting here today and I literally I have no work in the shop. I have a few items ready to go out and I'm waiting to get paid for those but I have no new jobs coming in.

'I'm two years into a five year lease and I'm thinking, oh my God, how am I ever going to see out this lease. January and February are slow months for me and I just have to hope that when the Communion and Confirmation season comes around, that things will pick up.'

Carmel has talked to a number of the store owners who have made the difficult decision to shut up shop in recent weeks, and said their reasons for doing so are very similar.

'Everybody is saying the same thing, landlords won't bring the rents down, they only want to hike it up and then we have the rate bills and this turn in the economy everyone talks about, well we haven't seen it.

'People say the economy is coming back up but we are not seeing it. We are seeing people holding onto their money. There was all the uncertainty about water charges and people are just scared stiff to spend their cash and they are holding onto it instead.'

So what is the solution? Carmel just wants to see a little bit of life brought back into the street and hopes a proposed development of an Aldi supermarket goes ahead.

'We need to try to set teh town back up on its feet and if that Aldi development went ahead, that would help. The other thing we need to do is to try and get rid of some of the derelict buildings in the town because the place doesn't even look like it has an incentive to come into it.

'We have no bank, no police station and it just seems that Rush always seems to lose out on everything.'

The Rush business owner came to town about 12 years ago from here hometown of Artane. She remembers: 'I moved to Rush with my husband for the beauty of it and it was a vibrant little village back then, but no more.'

Fingal Independent