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Is it time to move to a better location?>

Yes! And I'm trying to do just that but I'm tied into the current lease for another 18 months approx. I have the right to sub-let and got one or two interested people but they felt the remainder of the lease was too short given than they both wanted to put money into internal alterations because they wanted to run businesses which were very different to mine. One of these however was willing to negotiate a new lease with the landlord - this would give her a few years security onsite and free me from the lease. However under UK law as she want to run a cafe (upmarket Continental type)and I'm a retailer she has to apply to the local Council for change of use. I don't know how this relates to US law - the law re: business seems very different US/UK.

We've just come to the end of the period during which members of the public and surrounding businesses can 'comment' or object to the proposals and now have to wait for the relevant committee to deliver its verdict. Actually the proposed new business would be very good for the street concerned - just wish it had opened in an adjacent building as it would have helped us a lot - so I'm hoping it will go through. But the person proposing to take over the shop has only a verbal agreement with the landlord so far - not wanting to get into the costs of negotiating a new lease via solicitors until she's got change of use.

My landlord is pretty positive re: negotiating a new lease with her - I think he's seen the writing on the wall with the reduced footfall in the area and is afraid I'll go bust and he'll be left without the rent. I know he is heavily over-committed after buying up buildings and converting them as fast as he can and being caught in the local downturn in the economy. Nevertheless it is second nature to him to drive the hardest bargain possible and I'm afraid that my proposer who has done her costings down to the last penny will pull out if he tries to push things.

It's all taking so long and I can't really look for new premises myself until I know it is safe to start paying rent on them because I'll definitely be getting out of the current lease.

Sorry, I thought I'd explained this before but I post on both UK and US Self-Employed (find both very useful in different ways)and I sometimes forget what I've said on each!

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