A man who spent his life savings to open his own shop has claimed the second phase of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) may force its closure after business dropped by 50 per cent.

Omar Aldulemy opened Zad Foods two years ago on Lister Street in Townhead and says his business has been cut in half since phase 2 of the LEZ was introduced on June 1. 

The local supermarket, which specialises in fresh groceries and halal items, typically did most of its sales over the weekend when families would drive to the unit to do a big shop.

Now, the drop in custom has forced Mr Aldulemy to cut staff hours as he struggles to keep the business afloat.

Glasgow Times:

He said: “Before we had eight workers and used to hire extra part-time staff.

"But after the LEZ was introduced business has gone down, especially on the weekend where more than 50% of my sales in the three days of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday has been lost.

"Families from far away used to come and do their shopping for the whole week.

“Once June came, we had a big drop in business, a big drop.

“Now we’ve lost these customers so we only do our daily customers which is not enough. In these three days, I've lost over 50 per cent of my sales.

“I’m very worried, it’s hard. I had a partner in this business but because it's too risky he resigned as a director."

Glasgow Times: Omar Aldulemy, owner of Zad Food on Lister StreetOmar Aldulemy, owner of Zad Food on Lister Street (Image: Colin Mearns, Newsquest)

He added: “We can’t just keep putting money into the business to keep it going.

"I had to take a loan to pay suppliers, workers, and all the expenses. My electricity is over £2,500, £2,900 each month plus rent, plus other fixed costs. These don’t change.

“Whether we make sales or not, we pay this every day. Now we’ve had to take a loan to give the business a little boost for one month but it’s not working.

“Every time we do our calculations, it’s not going to work. It's hard to get to a stage where we can break even.

"We built up a good customer base. People came from far away to get their shopping here and then this law has come in and destroyed everything. We are back to square one.

“We are back to the beginning and it’s too hard for us. If it stays like this I don’t see how my business will continue.”

Mr Aldulemy built his business from scratch and is overwhelmed by the thought that he might have to close for good.

Glasgow Times:

He said: "This shop used to be a wholesale fruit market and I worked there on the nightshift as a warehouse operator and then a delivery driver for five years.

"I know the area very well, and then we spent a fortune because there is no other halal shop or supermarket in the area."

A council spokesperson said:  “We are aware that various economic factors at national and global levels mean this is a challenging time for businesses.

“However poor air quality presents a serious risk to public health and so the LEZ is an essential measure if Glasgow is to tackle the harmful air pollution that has dogged parts of the city centre for decades.

“While the vast majority of vehicles currently entering the city centre will be unaffected, the LEZ standards will address the most polluting vehicles which are disproportionately creating the harmful concentrations of air pollution in the city centre.

“The area covered by the final Phase 2 LEZ boundary which takes in Townhead, involved a number of decisions including observed and predicted pollution levels, relative traffic levels, predicted improvements in pollution, operational and enforcement factors and potential adverse impacts from redirected or parking traffic."