100-year-old Toowoomba business faces closure
BREAKING: An almost century-old Toowoomba business will be forced to leave its current location and has no where to go.
Toowoomba Electroplaters specialises in chrome plating, the nickle, copper, silver, tin and bronze polishing of alloy and repairs to stainless steel strips.
It operates in a shed in Harlaxton. Owner Gavin Freier worked for the business for 20 years before buying it 10 years ago.
He's never had a quiet day in his career but now might be forced to give all that up.
The lease for the shed Mr Freier operates from is up.
"The worst part is that you can't move this business just anywhere," he said.
Due to the nature of his business, he has to use certain gases and hydrochloric acid.
Mr Freier requires a location in an industrial area and planning permission from Toowoomba Regional Council.
Hydrochloric acid is a corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses.
Its fumes can rust sheds, which Mr Freier believes deterred landlords although he had always offered to repair any damages.
"I've been looking around but it's just one of those things. For me to move, it's going to cost around $30,000 plus and that's just to wire anything," he said.
"So it looks like I'm being forced into an early retirement.
"They wanted me out pretty quick but with all the work I've got, I said I needed at least six weeks and that was a few weeks ago."
With about a month to go, Mr Freier fears he will have to place all his equipment into storage and close the business.
"There's powder coaters and places like that but I'm the only one that does chrome work in south-west Queensland," he said.
"If I have to close, it's a lost for Toowoomba."
It's the second time Mr Freier has been forced to move the business.
The last time he relocated, it cost him his home and he became depressed. He ended up closing for 12 months before he found the Harlaxton address.
"It's devastating because the business has been around for about 100 years and it's one of those places that everyone knows about," Mr Freier said.
"I'm always busy. A lot of people don't know what electroplating is but once they do, they can tell the amount of work I do.
Find Toowoomba Electroplaters on Facebook or phone 4632 4532.