Rotating craft beer bar The Beer Spot is seeking to raise $40,000 to fund the build and installation of a traffic island needed for it to be able to open up a third store.
The Beer Spot which already has bars in Huapai and Northcote is preparing to open a third branch in the Auckland suburb of Morningside but to be able to do so it needs to put in a traffic island on New North Road to divert traffic - at the expense of the business.
The Morningside site was deemed industrial on Auckland Council's books so to turn it into a hospitality site the business had to apply to change the use of the building through resource consent with Auckland Council. It is hoping to open the branch at the middle of June.
As part of the resource consent it had to get a traffic report - which cost $3500 - to see how the business would affect traffic in the area, and was told it would be required to install a traffic island.
"I was like 'What?!'," Jason Payn, director of The Beer Spot, told the Herald.
"The thing is if you say no you're not going to get your resource consent so we are kind of rail-roaded into getting into the traffic island business.
"We're here to provide a hospitality venue to celebrate New Zealand beers from all of the independent brewers around New Zealand, that's our business, not civil works."
Payn has had quotes and assessments done which estimate costs to build, install and file applications for the traffic island to come in at around $40,000 and has set up a Givealittle page to raise the money.
The business has also spent $2500 on a resource consent consultant and $4500 on a noise control consultant in addition to resource and building consent costs.
"Nothing surprises us anymore. This will be the third branch we open. I'm always reading through the resource consent documents to see what you need to do and don't have to do but to find a traffic island in there is a little bit gob-smacking."
He said he was not required to pay the Council the $40,000 to implement the traffic island, but instead had to organise and implement it on his own.
"When did small businesses become responsible for civil works? I can't understand it."
So far, The Beer Spot has raised about $815 through 17 donors and will continue to fundraise until the end of May.
The Herald has approached the Council for comment.
"Auckland is aiming to become one of the most liveable cities in the world but everything you try and do as a small business is so difficult."
As a thank-you gesture to those who donate, the company intends to name donors on a plaque on the traffic island and inside The Beer Spot Morningside branch.
"We will be making a list of names and chucking those into the concrete mixer when we mix the concrete, so all of the donors will be part of the island," Payn said. "We'll have a little plaque on top saying this was generously made by donors, and we're going to have a donor board inside the Morningside branch with all of the names of the people on it and a private function."
Payn said people often misunderstood how difficult it was to start a small business.