My parents bought this semi in 1962 after they had made the long journey by boat to Hobart from Italy. They worked hard to pay it off and me and my three older brothers grew up in it. When I moved away interstate to Sydney and had my first child I realized how much I really needed my mother close. So I put the hard word on my husband and we moved with our little daughter. Time passed and we had two more kids. We sold our jnvestment in Sydney and bought the other side of my parent's semi for a song. I agreed that that was my inheritance up front.
Living on one wage was tough but I knew I was born to raise kids so we both agreed that I would be their number one carer. My husband had dreamed of owning his own cafe' for fifteen years. So when the opportunity arose, I encouraged him to realize his dream. I supported him and helped him in the cafe, and the more I did, the more I grew to love it. But his dream was different to the reality. As the business slid, so did our relationship. We separated after eight months in the business and although I tried to help him in any way possible, he shut down. To the point that I was driven out of my own business without an income. I had to appeal for government benefits. Eventually it was so dire that my ex decided the best thing to do was to sell the house from under me and our three children and leave the state. I refused. I suggested he leave the cafe for me to run, build up, and sell, so that we could pay off the loans we took against the house with the intention of refinancing the rest of the debt onto the mortgage. Simple.
No. Not so simple.
After begging the bank for time to get the cafe ready for sale with a reprieve from loan repayments, the bank has now slugged me with a $20,000 bill for unpaid arrears which I must come up with by the 28th of FEBRUARY (in two weeks!!) Otherwise they will force me to sell the only asset I have-the family home-the recover the debt. All this debt and regrettable financial strife came about due to lack of communication and reluctance to act. It's all because the wrong person was in charge.
Now the right person is in charge. Me.
My parents are now elderly . Both in their eighties. Their health is deteriorating.
My ex has left the state. I have moved into the small flat above the cafe so as to rent my house to raise revenue. I have qualified for a scheme which helps new businesses but I cannot be running one at the same time as attempting to qualify for the scheme. It provides an invaluable business course and financial support which will ensure that I can at least pay my mortgage.
In the six weeks that I have moved in, I have come up with countless great ideas to maximize the cash flow. I have built up a social media presence with my page 'Patanella' (which means Little Potato-my nickname as a kid).
In short..The cafe will be a hit when it opens. I have no doubt. Anyone who knows me can tell you how much drive I have.
What I DON'T have is money.
Can you help me get the bank off my back?
Can you help me with the startup costs of this cafe?
I know I can succeed. I know I can build up its viability so it can be sold at a good price so I can save my house and my kids and I will then have a place to live, close to their ageing grandparents.
- Martin Chung
- leanne munnings
- Naomi Clear
- ella bishop
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