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More CBD upgrades set to ‘wipe out’ small businesses 

Article image for More CBD upgrades set to ‘wipe out’ small businesses 

One of the last retail precincts left for small businesses in Sydney’s CBD is in strife.

Three-level arcade Hunter Connection links Wynyard Station with Pitt, George and Hunter streets and is used by thousands of commuters to get to and from work every day.

Lined with dozens of small businesses, the entire precinct is about to undergo a $1 billion development which will close the tunnel from Wynyard Station for at least 12 months, cutting off the arcade’s main source of customers.

After visiting Hunter Connection last week with independent City of Sydney Councillor Angela Vithoulkas, Alan Jones describes it as “a horror story”.

Andrew Copeland started working at Cheveux Haircutters in the arcade when he was 15-years-old and eventually bought the business in 2001.

He tells Alan after 46 years of business, “it’s a disgrace”.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen but we can take a good guess and it’s not going to be pretty.”

Business owners were only given six-weeks notice of the development, which both Andrew and Angela say isn’t good enough.

“When we got that letter I tried ringing the NSW Transport and also Brookfield (the construction company) and everyone just kept passing the buck, no one was interested.”

She says the closure of the tunnel and the impact the construction will have on businesses will “wipe” them out.

“The travellers will be impacted, the small businesses will be impacted, the entire area will be impacted and this is on top, already, of the light rail route.”

Alan tells both Angela and Andrew he’s been in contact with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and he’ll be writing to her on the issue again.

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Image: Twitter

Alan Jones