There isn´t much festive cheer around Palma at the moment as fears over the threatened transport strike and rising Covid cases continue to mount. I was talking to a rather downbeat stall holder at one of the Christmas markets in Palma who was telling me that rising costs had meant that they had little option but to raise their prices. He stressed that the transport strike could have a deep impact on Christmas.
It was not really the reaction I expected and things appear to be pretty hard. You do get the impression that the High Streets in Palma have seen better days. The growth in online shopping and the pandemic has hit shops hard and many have been forced to close. The rising number of Covid cases and the threat of more restrictions in bars and restaurants could also hit the festive period especially the busy office party period and even the festive season itself.
The picture being painted by small businesses is certainly not the one which is being painted by the Spanish government. Hopefully, the massive European Union investment programme in the New Year will bring some economic cheer especially to the High Street. There is now a concern even a realisation that online shopping is here to stay and shops will have to reinvent themselves.
More flexible opening hours could be the way forward. The Christmas lights will be switched on today and hopefully they will help local business people who have a major battle on their hands.