‘Full circle’: Business bucks trend, expands into main street
AT a time when businesses are flailing or downsizing, Steve Alldridge is taking his business up a notch and expanding.
What was just carpet cleaning and maintenance, will now encompass floor coverings and lighting.
Previously they'd just operated out of home, but A1 Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance has taken over 99 High St, previously David Schnitzerling and Co real estate.
"This weekend we're actually going to do the move. We'll give ourselves a week, still be open for the tradies but closed to the public, until the following Monday (October 21)," Mr Alldridge said.
"The shop will be a base where people can go to pay their bills but we'll also have a full range of floor coverings, plus we're going to put in a lighting show room.
"It's something Stanthorpe hasn't got at the moment."
The new side of the business will be A1 Stanthorpe Floor Coverings and Lighting, taking over from Gino's Floor Coverings.
"I had this business offered to me a few years ago and I've sort of been umming and ahhing and watching.
"Even though it's pretty tough at the moment it does still seem to be something that has shown positive growth.
"So the plan was to get in now when it was affordable. At the moment it's the right time to buy because it's as low as it'll ever be.
"I think it will be a really solid business once conditions get back to normal and it rains."
Despite the downturn in local business, Mr Alldridge wasn't frightened off.
"Things are tough now but it's a positive growth business."
It also helps that it's in his blood somewhat.
His father, Jeff Alldridge, started the business with Gino Cabria decades ago.
It was eventually sold on to Larry Anderson and now to Steve.
"I was a little bloke back then and now the business has done a full circle."
Any building without a vacant sign is a positive at the moment, Stanthorpe Real Estate's Logan Steele said.
"Being able to see a rent or buy sign on a commercial building in town is a pretty good sight in this current economic conditions.
"There's too many vacant. Some have got too much on the dollars of what they're asking of course but they're the ones that'll stay vacant.
"We'll continue to support Steve because he does a good job," he said.