AN UXBRIDGE shop owner has told the Gazette how rent rises and the threat of bailiffs caused him to almost have a heart attack.
Father-of-two, Sunil Patel, was visited at his store, Akshar News in Violet Avenue, Uxbridge, last Monday (October 20) by bailiffs looking to collect unpaid rent.
Managing to stave them off, he must now take out a loan to meet the rent payments which have almost doubled over the past six years.
Mr Patel said: "They (bailiffs) didn't do anything because I explained the situation. I'm out of money. I've been in and out of hospital - I almost had a heart attack and it's this stress that has caused it."
Three years ago Mr Patel was told his rent would rise from £5,800 to £10,600. But after a court battle the increase was reduced to £7,700 per year.
Covered by the Gazette in 2004, the strapped for cash shop owner's rent woes as well as problems with customer parking have now returned.
Unless he pays the new amount of £10,600 he will be forced to shut up shop for the final time.
"The amount was alright but since then it's gone double. Because this is a residential estate my prices must stay the same while everyone puts there's up. If I put them up everyone will go away," he explained
Mr Patel said he is losing up to £1,000 a week due to people tightening their purse strings and a lack of parking for his customers.
He said: "I need this business to support my family. At the minute, if I have to close, it will be difficult to find another job.
"There's many businesses who are suffering."
Contact the newsdesk on 01895 451033 if your business is also feeling the pinch.