A spike in rent is forcing a locally-owned coffee shop to close its doors after more than a decade in business. And it’s not the only small business struggling to stay open.
For 12 years, Kim Montgomery has filled hundreds of coffee cups at her shop, Aspen's Brew Coffee Cafe and Catering, but she's getting ready hang up her mugs for good.
Montgomery announced on Facebook that she would be closing her coffee shop on December 23, 2017.
"They would not renew our long-term lease without a 40 percent increase in our rent,” Montgomery said. “This is absolutely unsustainable in my market, so there is no way I can afford to do that."
She held back tears as she poured coffee cups with a heavy heart. In less than a week, she’ll be packing up and leaving her second home.
"This didn't happen overnight. It was 12 years of building this business with no name and no following. All my blood sweat and tears is down the drain," Montgomery said.
That sense of defeat is something the owner of Press Coffee felt when she was forced to close in October after her landlord increased her rent.
The owner of Romelia's Bakery and Specialties also says that his business is barely staying afloat since his rent increased.
He owes more than $13,000 in rent and says that he’s considering closing down next year and taking his business online.
"We are getting the stick by getting more taxes and more charges that hinder the creation of new businesses," Eduardo Valenzuela-Garibay said.
Small business owners say that it's becoming more difficult to compete with big corporate companies.
“San Antonio was built from small businesses and the commercial landlords are just going to wipe us out," Montgomery said.
While some doors close, other small businesses are keeping an open mind to stay local and loyal to their customers, even if that means relocating or opening their businesses online.
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