Calgary business Home and Away heads away from 17th Ave SW

A Calgary business is closing because of what managing partner calls a "perfect storm" of circumstances

Sarmad Rizvi stands with Caroline Szwed from Sportsnet inside Home and Away. PHOTO COURTESY OF SARMAD RIZVI

Another Calgary business is closing its doors due to what they said is a radically changing economic climate and help that came too late.

Home and Away, a sports and games bar on 17th Avenue announced June 19th that they will be shutting down for the summer. This came soon after Calgary city council voted for immediate tax relief to local businesses.

The relief will total $130.9 million with $60 million from budget cuts, and $70.9 million will come from the Fiscal Stability Reserve (FSR).

The relief didn’t come in time, said Sarmad Rizvi, managing partner of Home and Away. Not only is the business fighting increased property taxes but they’re also battling construction on 17 Avenue SW.

“The freeze – and whatever else – they’re not going to help with the past. We’re already been dealing with this stuff for three to four years now,” said Rizvi.

“It’s good that they’re maybe heading in the right direction, but it’s too late for us. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was too late for other businesses as well.”

The business has seen a dip since construction in front of their building began. Rizvi approximated they had a 40 per cent drop in sales.

Hoping to reopen Calgary business at summer’s end

Home and Away will reopen after the summer with the same name, and Rizvi said the business will find its new home in the downtown.

He said it’s unfortunate that Home and Away employees will be losing their jobs, and it’s not a good feeling. He said he would love to bring employees back when they reopen, but he knows it’s not realistic and people will need to find new jobs while Home and Away is closed.

“The human side of it is that it hurts. Especially because you build bonds with these people and they become some of your best friends. That part is hard,” said Rizvi.

“But we’re just looking forward to the future.”

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