Left in the dark: blackout costs businesses as customers just walk away

LOST SALES: David Russell says yesterday’s blackout resulted in a loss of revenue for his business. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0507blackout

LOST SALES: David Russell says yesterday’s blackout resulted in a loss of revenue for his business. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0507blackout

A BLACKOUT on Wednesday morning that forced business owners to shut down cash registers and turn away customers has cost businesses in the central business district thousands of dollars.

The blackout hit parts of Summer, Sale, Kite, Anson, Moulder and Torphy Streets at 11.10am.

Essential Energy regional manager Phillip Green said  the cause of the  blackout was a bird flying into power lines on the corner of Gardiner Road and Anson Street.

“As soon as the outage occurred we immediately dispatched our crews to determine the problem,” he said.

Business owner David Russell was midway through a sale when his sports shop was plunged into darkness.

“I had to write a receipt for my customer in the dark so I could complete the sale,” he said.

“I know as a business owner you are supposed to cop this type of thing on the chin, but it’s very hard when you see people come in to your shop and then just turn and walk out again,” he said.

Mr Russell estimates he lost between $500 and $1000 in sales before power was restored at 11.40am.

Scrumptious on Summer Cafe owner Suzy Glasby said she had no alternative but to shut the doors of her cafe.

“We just had to turn customers away,” she said.

Among other eateries hit hard in the area was Whitey’s Pies in Sale Street.

“By the time the power had come back on I was really watching the clock. You get to the point where you have to decide to throw everything out, which is hard when you’re in a small business,” owner Helen White said.

“I had seven people who had prepared and cooked all the food and we had to decide whether or not to bin it.

“It just goes to show how dependent you are on power when you provide food.

Mr Green apologised on behalf of Essential Energy for any inconvenience from the supply interruption.

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