By Gareth Rees
“I have seen a massive decline in customers due to the rising cost of living and I am struggling to pay the bills.”
These are the words of local business owner Mark Vockins who runs Quasar in Barry Island. He is just one example of how the rising cost of living is affecting local businesses.
Quasar is a laser quest establishment in Barry Island, located behind the train station, and has been a hit with the locals for many years. However, Mark is starting to see a decline in customers because people can’t afford leisurely activities as well as bills.
Mark said: “I have had to raise prices because I need to pay the bills, but customers aren’t coming because they don’t have the money for the new prices, it is frustrating because we are trying to keep afloat but also want to provide customers with the best prices possible.”
With another new Prime Minister in Number 10, business owners are wondering if Rishi Sunak can do a better job and save the economy – Mark doesn’t have that much hope.
“Liz Truss wasn’t good for the economy and I don’t think Rishi will be either. It feels like we are getting a new Prime Minister every day and none of them are helping the economy or businesses. We need a general election really.”
Other business owners in Barry Island said they were also feeling the pressure of the rising cost of living. Owner of the famous Marco’s Café, Marco Zeraschi says his profits have declined.
“This year so far, I have seen a 10% loss of profits.” He also added: “The price of oil has gone up from £20 per 20 litres to £38.” That is almost double what he was paying last year and is due to the rising cost of living which will affect most businesses on the Barry Island promenade.
The cafe had to raise its prices to accommodate this change but still seemed very popular and was full of customers who were enjoying their food and drink.
Marco is still very positive about the future: “I have no worries for Barry Island businesses, we will thrive for years to come as so many people love to sit here and enjoy the sea.”
The rising cost of living is affecting businesses across Barry Island and many places are losing customers due to the economic crisis, but people are still supporting local places and enjoying their time at this popular destination.