Agora and PIVIK strong, Café Alt, 1848 see weak numbers

At the most recent Board of Administration (BOA) meeting of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), vice-president finance Rizki Rachiq went over the health of the federation’s various businesses.

While it was a strong year for PIVIK and Agora, the numbers looked much worse for Café Alt and 1848.

Rachiq said that rent and salaries have increased at Café Alt, but he is still projecting a net income of $9,835 from the business this year. Rachiq noted that last year had been hard for Café Alt, saying it had been closed frequently due to human resources issues. Last year the cafe was projected to make $3,181, but ended up losing $44,501. Rachiq said he is more confident about the business this year.

Faculty of Sciences representative Michel Antoun asked if it was even worth keeping the cafe open if it caused so many problems for the federation for such a small profit. The executive argued in response that it was important to have these student-run businesses.

Rachiq said that 1848 has also been having problems of its own, and has generally been the least profitable of the student businesses. He said that it faces a lot of competition from bars downtown, specifically in the Byward Market. He noted that last year was especially bad, as numerous equipment broke down and the bar had to be closed on several occasions.

The bar was projected to make $5,705 last year, but ended up losing $35,780. Rachiq noted that this number would have been worse, but the SFUO did not have to pay rent for the space last year. However, it will have to pay this year. He said the SFUO is still negotiating this with the university, and is projected to make $6,746 this year. Rachiq said that the SFUO is considering renovating the bar to make it more attractive and bring in more business, adding that the renovations would cost one to two million dollars.

However, things are looking much better for the student-run bookstore Agora, which posted a profit of $313,608 last year, beating the projection of $269,069. The SFUO is expecting even higher profits from Agora this year, at $342,903.

The student-run store PIVIK is also in the black. It posted a profit of $74,328 last year, which was below the projected $110,072, but still positive. Rachiq notes that the store had to raise its prices last year. A profit of $80,182 is projected for this year.