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Shopkeeper blames Birmingham riots for closure

Category: England

Published: 9th May 2012 22:18:57

A Birmingham shopkeeper has said last August's riots are a major factor in his decision to sell his business.

Ajay Bhatia runs Machan Express coffee shop which suffered almost £20,000 of damage and lost more than £15,000 of stock during the disturbances.

Mr Bhatia said trade at his business on Newhall Street had fallen by 30% and has appealed to the local community to help him avoid closing.

City council leader Albert Bore has offered to help.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Mr Bhatia and his wife the week after the shop had been targeted by about 70 looters last summer.

Mr Bhatia said "big promises" had been made after the riots.

He said: "Banks came forward. Birmingham City Council and the police came out [in support]."

However, he added: "I haven't had proper sleep for the last nine months after the riots and now there is too much pressure.

"I think I have to blame myself at the end of the day."

Mr Bore, from the Labour-led authority, said: "The city council did put in support to help various shopkeepers with the repair of their premises to put in additional security measures and to provide business support.

"In this case it has not helped these individuals through.

"If they want to get in touch with me I'll make sure council officials do talk to them directly and see what advice or assistance can be given."

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BBC News, 2012. Shopkeeper blames Birmingham riots for closure [Online] (Updated 9th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1427549/Shopkeeper-blames-Birmingham-riots-for-closure [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

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