With the COVID-19 pandemic leaving everyone strapped for cash, the Christmas period presented a moment of brevity for struggling business. Rather than find support, access to one shop in Sliema has been entirely blocked off because of roadworks during the festive season.
Souvenirs That Don’t Suck is the home of locally-themed merchandise and innovative artistic concepts. It’s the lifeblood of several local brands and in the run-up to Christmas, road works have effectively shut their doors of its Sliema outlet, located along Triq Manwel Dimech.
In a Facebook post, Souvenirs That Don’t Suck’s Simon Buhagiar outlined the anger felt by a business just looking to survive:
“Struggling to describe the amount of sadness and anger I’m feeling at the moment, but hoping that getting some of it out will help me feel like I at least tried.”
“I’ve spent the majority of this year fighting to keep the Brands that help sustain a team that has grown to become a tight-knit family together, and we managed.”
“Pushed through every possible situation, the pandemic being the most obvious one, a new shop contract signed weeks before it all hit, internal changes, learning every possible new skill to help us keep going in any way we could.”
“Now, in the last two weeks of the year, that we were hoping would help us get through to next summer, we get this. No road access to our shop in Sliema, no pavement, no compensation and a lot of frowns and aggression for even mentioning that this is, even clouded with my unbendable optimism, just plain bad planning.”
It remains to be seen whether anything can be done to remedy the situation. However, a bit of forewarning and planning from Infrastructure Malta with the many businesses that could be affected would help moving forward.
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