By Jason Moore I saw a report over the weekend which suggested that as many as 2'000 small shops could close down in the Balearics in the coming weeks. While it is sad news and will probably mean the loss of more than 5'000 jobs, I am not really surprised. The main problem are their opening hours but also there is the question of making an effort. We are in the midst of probably one of the worst recessions in recent history and I don´t think that the shopkeepers in Palma are making any effort at all. Times are hard, time to work harder should be the message rather than the opposite. I walked around the commercial heartland of Palma last week and I was bitterly disappointed. Plenty of empty shops and also I would say that cleanliness is becoming an issue. I was amazed how untidy Palma was. The Christmas lights need to be switched on, the council should start its usual campaign of festive entertainment and also the shops need to start looking at what their counterparts are doing on the mainland. Open late on a Saturday night and even Sunday morning and get your message across that it is worth shopping in Palma otherwise the future is going to be bleak. Shopkeepers have a golden opportunity over Christmas, which they must take.