A BUSINESSMAN who put in £50,000 to get his company off the ground fears he may go bust by the end of the year if he can’t display signs.

George Negus put his heart, sole and cash into getting his garage, GS Tyres and Auto Ltd, off the ground in January this year, having put £50,000 in to get it going at the Brittania Business Park, off Comet Way.

But Mr Negus, 26, said he has struggled as many people still do not know he is there, and had to remove signage from the nearby roundabout after a request by Southend Council.

He fears he’ll have to shut and will be “left with nothing”.

The council has insisted advertising on highways is not permitted and would work with businesses to ensure highways are “open and accessible”.

Mr Negus said: “I recently put signs out on the roundabout near my work to get myself some passing trade, these took up hardly any space.

“The council informed me that I shouldn’t be doing it, therefore I removed them at their request.

“Unfortunately, after doing this, the entire month of June I had lost money, £3092 to be exact.

“I put my signage back out as this is my living and only source of income.

“They have removed my signs, which cost me £280, which I am now out of pocket and yet to receive back.”


Mr Negus added: “I have spent close to £60,000 since September setting this up.

“I have had nothing back.

“This place, come December, will be shut.

“Without this business, I have nothing.”

Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council, said a meeting would be held.

He said: “After several complaints were received for this location, the council began engaging with the business concerned in respect of advertising being placed on the highway.

“Following a period of compliance, further advertising was found placed on street furniture.

“The council will be proactively engaging with businesses and any individual regarding highways obstruction and damage, including any illegal advertising placed on the public highway as seen here.

“We are determined to protect our footways and highways from any obstruction to ensure they are open and accessible to all.”