Whanganui business owners reckon some comments by Whanganui District Councillor Helen Craig about local business opportunities are a load of old cobblers.
Craig said she had identified a gap in Whanganui for a cobbler, "quality engraver for trophies" and a speciality bread shop in addition to the "missing retailers", mostly retail chains, identified in the Town Centre Regeneration Strategy.
However, Philip Sell, managing director of J Williams Jewellers, said he believed Whanganui's two existing quality engravers met the demands of the local market.
"There's us and Signs & Engraving and we each specialise in different work," Sell said.
"I employ a guy for engraving and we have a computerised engraving machine. We engrave on wood, plastics, glass, all types of metal. We do general engraving like trophies but we can also do logos and coats of arms.
"The local secondary school who takes their engraving to Palmerston North I suspect is because they have unrealistic expectations in terms of delivery time."
The Palmerston North engraver served a bigger market, had more machines and more staff to handle large volumes," Sell said.
"It is not possible to do a large volume at short notice when you are committed to doing what has been promised," he said.
"It is admirable to try and bring new business to Whanganui but we also need to support the businesses we already have otherwise we will lose more jobs."
Sandra Wylie, of Signs & Engraving, said she was disappointed with Craig's comments about a lack of quality engravers in Whanganui.
Wylie and her husband Stu have owned and operated Signs & Engraving, now located at 7 Somme Pde, for 21 years.
"The business was in operation for many decades prior to us owning it," she said.
"We also supply engraving to the council."
She acknowledged J Williams Jewellers which has been based in Victoria Ave since 1903 and also provides a variety of engraving services.
Signs & Engraving was able to meet customers' deadlines under pressure "unless they are unrealistic and leave everything until the last minute".
"We always try to make sure our customers leave here happy," Wylie said.
Several footwear retailers said although a shop that, amongst other things, repaired shoes had recently closed, there were other options.
Jenny Monk, of Posh Comfort, said she had made an arrangement with a Feilding-based cobbler to courier shoes from Whanganui for repair.
"Maggie Mayz has just moved from Gisborne to Feilding and we can courier shoes and handbags to her for repair," Monk said.
"The shoes and handbags don't have to have been bought from Posh Comfort. People can bring them in to our shop and we'll send them over to Feilding."
Laureen Tunnell, of Footloose Shoes, said shoes purchased from her store could be sent back to the manufacturer for repair.
"If there's a problem, we would hoof them back to the manufacturers who have their own shoe repairers," Tunnell said.
"We know the repair will be done properly and by a proper cobbler. It's a very uncommon trade and a dying trade unfortunately."