Business closures are on the rise in Northland.
Chartered accountant Steve Bennett of Whangarei, who specialises in insolvency, says the first quarter of this year was fairly quiet.
But since the end of the summer holiday trade, a number of businesses which had survived five years of recession, have failed and there has been a spate of liquidations.
Mr Bennett said owner-operators have survived to this point by selling assets and with the support of their banks, but have run out of capital and now have no other options left.
Mr Bennett said many locally-owned businesses in Whangarei have closed because they could not compete with the chain stores that have opened in the city in recent years.