Local businesses and the economy

Another small business gives up

We have lived in Melbourne for about 6 months and one of the reasons we chose to live in this suburb was the vibrancy of the shopping street – which is very much an older style ‘high street’.

Yes there are two of the major supermarkets here, with one just off the main street but still linked to the street and the other down the end on the main street. Along the street are a more than adequate range of businesses, shops and other services (doctors etc) that cater for every day needs.

This is our first winter here and we have noted just how quiet the street is both during day and night. There is a lot of car traffic  – most passing through as Upper Heidelberg Road can be very busy.

During the day there is a moderate level of foot traffic. But it seems to be very quiet at the moment. I walked these streets almost daily and have often remarked that it must be quite a struggle for many of the shop owners.

Sadly in the last month or so three shops have closed. One shoe shop has just put up their notices for their closing down sale.

There has been a shoe shop on this site for 80 years – with the present owners being there for 15 years. Definitely the end of an era!

There would be loads of reasons why such small businesses are struggling right now. And yes, we do our best to shop locally whenever we can – if not on this street also on other good shopping streets such as Station Street in the next suburb of Fairfield.

Active and vibrant ‘high streets’ are urban places to be cherished. Fingers are crossed that this one survives this latest set of pressures and that developers and the local council do not see an opportunity to ‘upgrade’ the street with more bland towers.


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