I HAVE just heard about another Lewes shop in difficulties due to this long lasting depression. Although Lewes has until recently been luckier than many towns, we are now seeing closed shop fronts appear like missing teeth in our usually pleasantly busy streets.
Now the proprietor of a small shop in the Needlemakers is being forced to move from his present premises with windows on West Street to a smaller space at the back. Passers by who have often stopped to enjoy his splendidly themed displays of 1930s, 40s and 50s memorabilia will no longer be attracted to browse inside.
The main cause of the financial pressure on this, like other shops in Lewes, is the rise in rent and rates. Together with reduced sales in hard times for everyone, the increased overheads become insupportable.
There must be some way of working out how to balance the loss of income which would be incurred by lowering the rates and rents against the total loss when businesses close. Surely the local councils must see that it is in the interests of the local economy to keep shops open and the streets of Lewes flourishing so that the many tourists who are drawn to our lovely town will spend their money?
Linda Lamont, Lewes