The Pimeco association of small retailers says that 83 businesses in the centre of Palma have not reopened, and the association is critical of the town hall for having failed to launch initiatives which it had promised for reactivating the retail sector.
The 83 shops, according to a Pimeco survey, were open before the crisis. But after months of the state of alarm, they have not reopened because they doubt that they will bring in sufficient revenue. The Pimeco president, Toni Fuster, wants initiatives from the town hall (and other public institutions) to help traders "to move forward and to prevent the streets in the centre of Palma looking like a cemetery".
Shortly after the state of alarm was declared, as Fuster notes, the town hall promised to invest one million euros in promoting the recovery of small businesses (bars and restaurants as well as shops). "We are in July, and no initiative or campaign has materialised." He refers in particular to the discount voucher scheme that the town hall had said that it would be launching.
"If this goes on much longer, the businesses won't be saved. It is very important that there is a campaign for direct help to businesses and to make the public aware of the importance of purchasing from small businesses in order to preserve the idiosyncrasy of Majorca."
Fuster is calling for access to the historic centre of the city to be facilitated and for it not to be hampered by public works, while he is also critical of the way in which certain groups have sought to "criminalise tourism" in recent years. "Whether they like it or not, the local economy and the income of thousands of families in Majorca depend directly on tourists. It is important to make this clear."
The Pimeco survey covered a number of streets. These included Jaume III, Oms and Sindicat as well as Plaça Cort, Plaça Mercat and the Paseo Mallorca.