Hickory Ridge Mall vendors say new rules could put them out of business

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Small business owners who call the Hickory Ridge Mall their home fear new rules could put them out of business.

Management says the mall now closes at 8 p.m. If a business wants to stay open later, they must pay $25 an hour for security. The new changes have already started pushing some business owners out and the others say they don't know how much longer they'll be able to hang on.

An empty spinning carousel and  empty store fronts are mostly what you'll find at the nearly deserted Hickory Ridge Mall. Not everyone is ready to move out, but if the trend keeps on there may be nothing left for customers to peruse.

Business owners shied away from talking to WREG on camera because they're afraid new mall management might retaliate if they speak up about changes. Only one person was brave enough to tell us what's going on.

"People are constantly leaving. We have no choice."

The business owner says now the hair salons and nail salons that are left must pay extra money if they have customers after the new cut-off time of 8 p.m.

"We are paid by the clients and lately we are losing money. We are turning people around."

One by one it looks like the businesses are packing up and choosing to find somewhere else to set up shop.

"We had a barber shop, it’s no longer with us, and a few other businesses have left."

They say paying $25 to stick around later and skipping customers because they are out of time is really starting to cut into their pockets.

They say they just want management to wake up and value them before it’s too late.

"It will definitely be an eyesore — it’ll be another dead mall."

The mall says they aren't fining  anyone but several of the business owners we talked to say while they may not be calling it a fine, they are picking up an extra bill.

Management says they close at 8 p.m. That is the reason they now want to make sure all business owners are out by that time.

Doors to the mall open at 7 for those renting space.

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