High Street hurt by tough times

GOONDOON St, which has had more than a dozen prime shops vacant for months, has been hit by a new exodus - four businesses and three buildings have gone up for sale since Christmas.

Scott McCarthy announced this week that Scotties Restaurant would be closing in the main street of Gladstone. 

Other shop owners, who are still open for business, have decided to put or relist their businesses on the market, including Chattin Cafe, Gladstone Newsagency and Gladstone Property Plus.

Meanwhile, buildings housing Mrael Limited, Staples and Primo Donnas Beauty Salon have been put up for sale, and Primo Donnas has already shifted.

Gladstone Property Plus owner Wendy Westbrook said everyone had been hit "dramatically" by the downturn. She has tried to sell her business for a year but re-listed it on December 25 for a "very good price".

"That's what I had to do to sell it at the moment. Everyone had the good times and now there is the down."

She had been a real estate agent in Gladstone for 17 years and decided it was time to retire.

"I'm happy to stay here until it happens then I'll move to New Zealand," she said.

But at least one business owner, Michelle Wilson from Ginger Says, is inspired to fight the doom and gloom.

She had tried to sell for a year but had a "cracker" Christmas.

"Christmas was excellent because I got inspired by the new shops that have popped up where the old ones were."

Some of those stores include Shoe Luxe, Garage Barber and Runway7.

Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rick Hansen said the city was going through a boom and bust "like we have never had before".

"People moving into business have to be ready and know what they are in for."



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