Manuka companies, including pharmacy, news agency and fitness center, speak out against Franklin Street closure | Canberra Times

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Several Manuka business owners have spoken out against a plan to introduce outdoor dining on Franklin Street, saying it paralyzed their businesses, which have already been hit by COVID. A two-week pilot to test outdoor dining on Franklin Street in Manuka started on October 29th. It was designed to help the hospitality industry and improve the city’s nightlife. The westbound lane is blocked, but the eastbound lane remains open to traffic. If the pilot succeeds, the street will be partially closed until November 22nd. Owners of other small businesses on the strip – including the pharmacy, fitness center, milk bar and news agency – said roadblocks to help with outdoor dining have already damaged their bottom line. Manuka News Agency’s Matt Nobbs said the closure has caused a “definitive drop in trade and massive inconvenience to customers.” “It’s been closed for four days now, and to describe it as a disaster is to be kind,” he said. “There has been no promotion, no offer to lure or no apology for the disruption. I had 36 Canberra Times [newspapers] not sold on Saturday. The week before I was sold out. The same number is provided. It’s just one product among many. “Mr Nobbs said he did not believe hospitality retailers had seen an increase in the number of customers since the trial.” There were four adults and two children at once. [outdoor] table on the road at 19.15 Saturday night, “he said.” Sunday at. 14 there was no one on the road because it was too hot to sit in the sun. The hospitality retailers behind this have not seen an increase in trade. “The owners of five companies said that support for the hospitality industry should not come at the expense of other retailers. READ MORE:” We all recognize that the hospitality industry has been more affected than most of COVID-19 and support that they are creative in trying to get lost earnings back, “it said in an open letter from business owners on the street. and their ability to generate an income.” The letter was co-signed by Matt Nobbs of Manuka Newsagency, Matt Nobbs of Manuka Pharmacy, Angelo Petridif of My Cafe and Downtown Milk Bar and Ben (who asked to have his last name withheld) from Fitness First, they said members of the gym did not will be able to go to Fitness First before or after work, traditional will not get their early breakfast at The Downtown Milk Bar, and people will not come in to grab a birthday card or scratch. lotto on the new wisdom. The taxi rank is not operating, which the letter said would prevent some older customers from accessing the pharmacy. The business owners have asked the Outdoor Activation Taskforce to use paved areas outside the shops for outdoor dining instead of the road. “Franklin Street has paved areas that are currently used by all restaurants, cafes and bars,” the letter said. “There are also paved areas in front of the bookstore, news agency, pharmacy, gym and a vacant shop that are not being used. At both ends of the street, especially in front of Bellucis, there is a huge area that could be used to add extra seating.” Sir. Nobbs said not all businesses on the street were consulted about the pilot program. The ACT government said it received correspondence from companies during the consultation process for the pilot project. “The pilot provides more opportunities for businesses to operate in a COVID-safe way and expanded outdoor dining for Canberra’s bars, cafes and restaurants. All the hospitality businesses on the street are participating in this pilot,” a spokesman said. “The pilot … will be reviewed after a two-week period and will take all feedback received on board.” Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in ACT and lockdown is free for all to access. However, we rely on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, sign up here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how to continue accessing our trusted content:


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