BUSINESSES were left counting the cost after a power cut left them without electricity for more than four hours.
Seventy-eight properties were without power from 7.10am-noon on Saturday after a blown fuse at a sub-station.
Among those affected were various businesses in the Tower Street area of Hartlepool, including cafes, a taxi firm and music venue The Studio.
It was the second consecutive Saturday business bosses in Tower Street were left out of pocket.
The week before members of the English Defence League (EDL) gathered outside The Clarendon, in Tower Street, ahead of their march through the town.
But, as reported in the Mail last week, businesses in the area hadn’t been made aware that the protest was taking place and due to the hundreds of rowdy protestors and police officers closing the road, had barely any customers through the door.
Staff at Pappa Caff’s Cafe had to turn customers away on Saturday morning when the power went out.
The popular cafe was left with only two working sockets and staff were forced to tell regulars that they were limited to only a few options on the menu due to the loss of power.
Leaza Cafferkey, 24, part-owner of the cafe, said: “Saturday morning is normally one of our busiest times of the week yet we spent the full morning apologising to customers because we weren’t able to offer the majority of food on our menu.
“It’s the second Saturday in a row where business has been affected and it’s been out of our hands.
“The week before was the march which we knew nothing about until we came to work that morning.
“I don’t know exactly how much it’s cost us over the course of the two weeks, but it’s not ideal at this time of the year.”
Streamline Taxis had to operate throughout Saturday morning without a computer system due to the loss of power. It meant control room workers struggled to get in touch with the drivers out on the road.
A dance group practicing in The Studio also had to come up with a contingency plan due to the power cut.
A Northern Powergrid spokesman said: “There was a blown fuse at the sub-station which affected 78 properties.
“The power went off at 7.10am and was back on at 12.08pm. We apologise for any inconvenience it may have caused.”