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Saturday
Dec112010

Business is great - yeah right!

Businesses in Thames are hurting, if not just closing down.

But hold on, Liquorland has just opened a new emporium in the old No 1 Shoe Store - things can't be so bad after all. More about the booze barn later.

Don't be fooled by the opening in the new "No. 1" in the box store over the road - that is purely a short term lease "Summer Store" selling el cheapo summer gear - it will be gone in the flash of an eye, together with its temporary banners. PGG Wrightson appears to be on the way out having outlived its ability to meet the needs of Plains farmers from Thames.

No, it is all an illusion - there are many who are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Subbies in every trade are just living day to day, and long term employees may find the post Christmas situation extremely difficult. I am told that December cash flows are as slow as they have been for many years, and that there is considerable anxiety within the banking community.

It may not be Council's role to intervene, but councillors cannot continue to have their head in the sand - it will only need a few more major businesses to close around Thames for the entire rating base to take a beating like never before. Only two elected members ranked economic development as the most important Council activity.

Something has to be done, and urgently to re-inspire a level of confidence around this town. Other towns have done it, and and so can we - there are enough planning staff around the TCDC building to conjure up long term plans for 50 years out. If some of them still want to have a job in 5 years, it may be time that some of that effort was directed into planning for the immediate future of Thames in particular, but other towns as well that are curently entirely dependent on tourism and the retirement industry.

Lets get on with the Kopu and aquaculture plans without any further delay. Promotion of the town as great place to retire may not bring in the young and vibrant, but in the meantime, house prices will continue to fall. House prices are dropping by the day, and no amount of real estate supplement hype can alter that fact. Very little is selling and certainly there is minimal building activity on either side of the Pennisula.

If you doubt this for one moment, just follow the money in the Development Contribution figures in the Council Financial Statements - there is nothing happening - full stop.  

 

 

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Reader Comments (4)

Absolutely agree with your comments on business in Thames Bill.
Anedotal comment suggests continuing hard times, and it is reasonable, I think, to expect some leadership from our local council in this area. Without healthy, successful and profitable business, a community has a much reduced opportunity to achieve personal or collective agenda. Without work many in our community may be bereft of any sort of meaningful future. Such things as 'shop local' campaign and developing policy alignment with the 'transition town' movement could be items on the Mayors economic leadership agenda, amongst a long list of other things of course.

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

just been down town - Sunday 2nd day of a new year - heaps of people but hardly any shops open - lots of signs in windows saying "sorry closed until the 5th" - might as well add - 'gone to the beach' - Thames is slowly dying on its feet - other towns on the Peninsula are open and welcoming visitors - not good ol' Thames - so next time I hear a retailer complain about lack of business or people shopping out of town I will remind them that a closed shop on a busy weekend [public holiday] is not the way to do business or encourage people to shop at home.
Recently the Mayor described Thames as -"not a gateway town but a destination" -- yeah right Leachy- somebody should tell the shopkeepers.
interesting to note that those shops which are trading are owned by 'new people' in town and mainly of a different ethnic background - maybe we could all learn from their approach to 'service'.
Spoke to 2 ladies looking in thru the window of a closed shoe shop -"would you have bought those shoes had it been open?" - short answer --"yes"
they also commented that Thames was once the leading town on the Peninsula - now about to be overtaken by the likes of Whitianga/Whangamata - [and it would pay to note that Whitianga is looking at a $4.8 million 'town centre up-grade' in 2014/15 - paid for by ratepayers] - or so I am told by a Eastern seaboard Councillor- who went on to say "'we will become the shopping and cultural center of the Peninsula when that happens"-- goodbye Thames - hello Whitianga
Come on retailers - open your doors - that's if you really want Thames to be a 'destination town' not a 'gateway town'---too late to close the gate when the horse has bolted-----

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThames-ite

These comments are so pertinent, that I would like to post them on the site, if that is okay with you?
I will provide a better explanation about comments in my next Notification - they tend to get overlooked if viewers don't go though to the index.

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbillbarc

no problems - anything to generate some go forward

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThames-ite

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