Eastbourne town centre shop closing today

Gecko shop closing after twenty two years (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160929-091940008
Gecko shop closing after twenty two years (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160929-091940008

An independent shop is closing its doors today (Friday, September 30)) after more than 20 years - and its owner blames difficult trading conditions.

Raymonde Ali Khan says she is closing the doors of her boutique Gecko in Station Parade after a drop in trade due, she says, to changing business conditions making it “impossible to carry on”.

Mrs Khan said she feels the Station Parade part of Terminus Road has suffered since she opened in the summer of 1994.

She said, “When Gecko opened, it was opposite the busy main Post Office with customers moving freely across the road without grey grilled safety barriers.

“It was my passion to make Gecko unique and see satisfied well-dressed customers.

“When we moved here business was thriving. Everything was great.

“Unfortunately changing business conditions, high business rates especially without any help or relief for businesses, makes it impossible to carry on.

“I have cried, I have watched my shop going away.

“I feel nobody cares about small businesses anymore.”

Mrs Khan says when the shop closes for the final time tonight, she will focus on her online jewellery business.

Business rates are set by the Valuation Office Agency and collected by Eastbourne Borough Council.

Business rate relief is given to businesses by the council and for the last two years the Government has provided funding for a business rates discount of up to £1,000 in 2014 to 2015 and of up to £1,500 in 2015 to 2016.

That was paid to all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less.

Further along Terminus Road this week, shops fronting the bus lane are advertising they are closing down and workmen have been stripping out the former bakery and cafe.

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