Tweed Community Open Arms Ministry founder Lyn Borthistle and Caf Lazumba owner Barbara Cook. Photo: John Gass / Tweed Daily News
Tweed Community Open Arms Ministry founder Lyn Borthistle and Caf Lazumba owner Barbara Cook. Photo: John Gass / Tweed Daily News John Gass

Hard road for shop owners

BAY St West businesses have been hit hard by a lack of customers since roadworks began in the Tweed Heads CBD five months ago.

Two shopkeepers say the situation is so critical it has contributed to them being made homeless.

Lazumba Cafe owner Barbara Cook said she was preparing to rent or sell her home in Murwillumbah and live in her car just to make ends meet.

"I'm in a pickle," Ms Cook said.

"Without customers we don't have any money."

While businesses were looking forward to the completion of the works, Ms Cook said for now, things were "awful".

"We just want to survive," she said.

Tweed Community Open Arms Ministry founder Lyn Borthistle is already living in her car while struggling to make a profit in her volunteer-run, homeless-benefit shop on the street

"It's absolutely horrific," she said.

Alley Barber owner Duane Makawe said his barber shop takings had plummeted 40% since the works began.

He said many of his customers were elderly, and stayed away due to the lack of car parking at the front of his shop.

Paul Gurdeep, who works at a nearby bakery, said they'd resorted to selling their goods at weekend markets to make up for poor sales. Tweed Shire Council's infrastructure manager Ian Kite said drainage issues, the discovery of original rail lines and bulk haulage of fill from the nearby Tweed Ultima development had caused work delays.

He said council workers had "worked with shopkeepers to minimise disruption to pedestrian access to the shops" and "worked extended hours, including some weekends, to expedite the works and minimise interference".

Works started in July but the council did not respond to a request for an estimated completion date.



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