Louie’s shut up call

LESLEE HALLCountryman

With roadside sales of his fresh produce plummeting and financial strains piling up, Lowden farmer Louie Scibilia is calling on small businesses that are struggling like him to take a stand by shutting-up shop for a day.

Mr Scibilia is calling on small businesses Statewide to close on February 28 to shore up their worth to the community and bring attention to their plight.

“`They’re going bankrupt, and it’s not just the farmer — it’s the dairyman, the bricklayer, the plasterer, ” Mr Scibilia said.

“After 30 years in business I wouldn’t recommend that people start up a small business or employ people.”

Mr Scibilia, who also runs a small construction business in Perth, said he worked seven days a week on his farm for a negative income and had not taken a holiday in 20 years.

“We need to send a message to the State Government that small businesses are dying — we’re all suffering the same problem, ” he said. “I know small business better than anybody — we need government to act and act now.”

Mr Scibilia said his businesses had been struggling particularly since the economic downturn because people had less money to spend — and he was forced to feed produce to his animals.

He said he had also been impacted by the removal of roadside signage by Main Roads who deemed the signs to be a distraction to drivers.

Any small businesses interested in joining Mr Scibilia’s shut shop campaign should call 0438 773 871.

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