Another family business in Richmond closed its doors last week after serving the community for 23 years.
Abdul Dossa, 76, owner of Broadmoor Busy Bee Dry Cleaners, felt very emotional calling customers to pick up their clothes because it meant saying goodbye to his business.
After working in the community since 1998, his shop has become more than a livelihood.
“It’s not just a business once you have built deep relationships with your community. Some customers and I always talk about our children and share many other things,” said Dossa.
Taking a walk through the Broadmoor Busy Bee, you can see Dossa’s impact on his community. Posted on the walls are Best of Richmond Awards, a letter from a local MP and a news story about Dossa’s first-of-its-kind environmentally friendly washing machine.
Although the “green machine” cost him $65,000, Dossa never regretted the “luxurious” purchase, since it was a step towards a greener planet.
With more people working from home, the pandemic has been hard on the dry cleaning industry, but Dossa said that’s not what’s forcing him to shut up shop.
They could survive COVID, but not the 10 per cent rent increase that’s just hit them.
Dossa said he had intended to renew his five-year lease this year, but when his landlord informed him of the hike, he was forced to call it quits.
First Capital Realty, one of the largest retail landlords in Canada, currently operates Broadmoor Shopping Centre, Terra Nova Village in Richmond and a dozen malls in regions across Canada.
And, unlike with residential rental agreements, there is no legislation that limits how much a landlord can raise the rent on a commercial property.
“...it’s out of our control. I will truly miss our customers; some of them are my extended family members,” said Dossa.