MANY small and medium-sized businesses in Malaga city are being forced to close down due to the extremely high retail rental prices.
Hundreds of small traditional shops have had to shut or have been transferred as they could no longer afford the rent for their premises, according to Malaga’s Historic Centre Association.
They claim that mass tourism is one of the main causes of this situation, as it has led to the displacement of lifelong residents from the city centre to the city outskirts.
“Small businesses rely on local neighbours as their best customers, but many of them have left the area due to the increase in rental prices for apartments, which are all being converted to holiday rental flats,” Fuensanta Villalobos, the association’s director said.
The institution insists that although national tourists often go shopping to local shops, international holidaymakers often choose big chains.
Local shops argue that it is just not possible to face the ongoing increases in retail rental prices, which can only be afforded by highest-grossing franchises.
“City centre small business owners are not protected, rental prices go up every month and this can only be tackled by big chains. Rental prices should be regulated by local authorities in addition to electricity and water bills,” Jose Carlos Lacambra, owner of Pollos San Juan, a 60-year-old traditional poulterer in Herreria del Rey Street, told La Opinion de Malaga.
Last year, over 500 small and medium-sized businesses closed down in Malaga.
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