Sussex rail strikes: Independent cafe owner forced to close for the week

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Huseyin Ay, owner of H&M Coffee at Chichester station, said his small businesses would be hit hard by the rail strikes this week.

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Mr Ay called the situation “unfair” and said he still had to pay rent, staff and bills amid the current cost of living crisis.

H&M Coffee based at Chichester station

He told Sussex World today (Tuesday June 21): ‘Obviously there are no passengers and no business for us. We have to close up shop but what do we expect from them? It’s for a few days and I hope the rent is free as part of the compensation.

“It’s not our fault. It was like this before and it took so long – I didn’t get any money then.

“No, it’s not fair at all – we’re just a very small business and we won’t have any income during the strike period and I have staff to pay and bills to pay. Every day I costs a certain amount of money.

“It’s a national strike so it’s not Southern Railway. It’s really frustrating.”

Asked about the impact of the cost of living crisis on his business in recent months, Mr Ay said: “Everyone is in the same situation but in this time we have to live with it.

“Last year milk cost us £1, and now it’s £1.40. That’s a 40 per cent increase.”

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