Hilton businesses at a loss

2011-05-13 00:00

THE electricity outages in Hilton have had a devastating effect on small businesses in the area — at a time when many local businesses are recovering from a lull in trade activity as a result of the recent string of public holidays.

The outages began almost a month ago and resulted from a number of factors, including a fault on the in-feed cable as well as ageing infrastructure.

The Msunduzi Municipality has since repaired the in-feed cable and continues to attend to the problems.

Tasha Jardim, owner of Tasha’s Fantastic Fudge told The Witness that her business lost well over two days of production, adding that it has affected their customer satisfaction levels.

“It’s devastating for a small business like ours. The distributors rely on us for production and I don’t look good if I cannot deliver on time.”

There are also other costs associated with such occurrences.

Jardim has had to pay eight staff members during periods of downtime.

Lindsay Rose, owner of Lindsay’s Coffee Shop said that her business experienced a 50% decline in turnover during the “power outage days”, adding that they are now considering purchasing a generator.

Keith Paine, co-owner of Scissor Hands (salon) told The Witness that their turnover was negatively affected, despite the fact that they have a generator.

“You can’t run everything off a generator,” he said.

Bronwyn Brierley-Fischer of Hilton Salon told The Witness that the outages made it impossible to conduct their business activities. “We have an instant geyser, so when the power went out, we had no hot water almost immediately,” she said.

Brierley-Fischer said they would require a large generator due to the intensive electricity requirements of the blow-dryers used in the salon.

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