Is it 'Potentially' our last summer under this roof? 'A rant from Emma's heart'

Is it 'Potentially' our last summer under this roof? 'A rant from Emma's heart'

We thought it was best to pop this here as we are getting asked every single day.  Every single day by all the wonderful humans in our community since we confirmed the sad true life news that the building our beloved NS is housed within is now on the market.  

So, here we go...



Whats happening? Well the whole building is on the market, the commercial retail units (one being us) are being marketed as 'an excellent opportunity for business owners to establish a presence in this popular area'. With flexible layouts and high visibility, these units have enormous potential for growth and profitability.

Though it states "business unaffected", sadly, this is not completely true.  Neighbourhood Store is potentially very affected.

The honest answer remains the same as when we announced it on Instagram, we really don't know until it sells. We are in 100% limbo. Our lease is due for renewal in October, and as we weren't given the opportunity to renew it ahead of it going on the market it has left us in a REALLY unsettling and challenging place.
It is important to say our landlord is and has always been brilliant since the very beginning, and we understand why it's up for sale.  It's just the uncertainty.
It seems to be moving fast, lots of people have been to view the whole building, including the shop. It made us feel REALLY sad and raised the anxiety levels around it all to the absolute MAX.  A surveyor came last week, measuring and doing all the surveying things (he did buy a soap & a card mind) but nonetheless, we are now left guessing, some kind of offer has been made. 
But that is all we know or can at least guess. 
To give you a little more information. We want to explain, we are fully aware that we may be offered the right to renew our lease by the new landlord, but the fear is a massive rent increase on top of rising business rates.  This seems to be happening to lots of indie businesses. 
I guess the question is do we want to stay after all the stress this is causing us, the situation it has left us in? Questions around, have we actually outgrown the space? Is there a true want for NS to stay trading?  These are where our thoughts are, jumping back n' forth, round and around and around on a hourly basis. And even if we wanted to move, we can't really do anything until October.  When our lease ends.  So we are kind of stuck until we know what is going on. Then if we are on this path of thinking, the next struggle is the lack of spaces in Shoreham by Sea that would suit the store.  Either too big/ expensive, too small or too far outta town.
Deep in our hearts,  telling us to revert to the original plan of NS, a real community hub, venue offering space to other independent businesses/ clubs or pop up supper club, exhibitions, art, design etc. Serving coffee, music and beer and of course the store. But in this current climate, given what is happening to us right now?  That's when the heads kick in... (DAMN the head)
But, listen we have always followed our hearts, changed shit up, re-directed and said sod it, let's give it a go. Just so you know we are going to try right? 
Aim high, stay positive... Go big or go home. All the good feelings and thoughts.

A few people have asked how long have we known?  Truth being we have known for over a year that it was 'potentially' 'maybe' 'might not' 'might' happen. Some have asked, if we knew it was coming, why couldn't we look to do something sooner? The answer is, as above.  We are 100% stuck in a Catch 22 situation. Regardless of knowing 'it may happen/ may not' we couldn't have really done much anyway.  Repeating the lease thang, we are stuck here until Oct 2023. We cannot really look to find another home until nearer this date, otherwise we will be paying double rent. The only time we could have looked to move was during our break clause, but this was back in Oct 2020. Hmmmm... World pandemic?  Yup.  We certainly had no wish to look to move back then, the concern then was staying open and surviving that mad time. 

The BIG, MASSIVE main issue and concern we are faced with is the risk this is putting our business under. Oct, Nov & December are our busiest times of the year, these months carry us through Jan - April our quietest months.  If we are not trading for those months we simply won't survive. 
That is the thing that keeps us awake at night. Oooooof!
We are gutted and sorry this is not the news you may have wished for, it certainly is not what we want to be sharing, it's the last way we want to think, but we need to be real.
Rest assure we will do all we can to save NS, we will do everything that is in our control.  I guess that is what makes this all so heart-breaking, it is mostly out of our control.
We hope to have some kind of update soon and will share it here. 
So keep your eyes peeled and keep those fingers crossed for us. 
Thanks for bearing with this total ramble of emotions and mixed thoughts.  It's from the heart and it is indeed very raw.
Anyway, good people - watch this space.
Thanks again for your kind words & support - It means the world.
Biggest LOVE
Em & Gary x
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