Chocolate shop's emotional closure highlights small business plight

Why does the closure of a singular small shop in England represent all of the problems faced by retailers today?

Simon Dunn, a U.K. chocolatier based in Wilmslow, England, recently shut his doors with a heavy heart.

For his loyal customers, the closure came as a shock -- but perhaps not as much as the honest revelations as to why the businessman was forced to close down his independent shop after 25 years. In a farewell note posted on premises and through his social media page, Dunn details the expenses of running a shop in the U.K. today, and how, in the end, it proved too much.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, Dunn said the shop was able to generate revenue of approximately £208,000 a year -- but after taxes, wages and insurance bills flooded in, the shop owner only made £100 a week in profit.

Dunn says this situation feels like "business owners are punished for being successful," and is not unlike the problems faced by stores in the United States that are struggling with high tax rates. The recession has hurt businesses worldwide, and as many struggle to survive, governments are being called on to lower tax rates or accept responsibility for widespread closures -- and the blow to the economy as a result.

The chocolatier will still offer his wares online. As businesses are forced to cease trading in physical outlets in order to survive remotely, it is worth wondering whether town high streets will even exist in the future -- or will they only accommodate large chains, leaving the independent local shop a distant memory?

Via: The Huffington Post

Image credit: Simon Dunn

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