In what are difficult times for most businesses, 22 outlets have been honoured for coming back from the brink after suffering the added problem of coping with a devastating flood.
Community leaders in Glanmire, Cork, have paid tribute to the businesses in the Hazelwood Shopping Centre, which were deluged with over 1m of water on Jun 28.
In return, those businesses have praised the local community which rallied to help them clean up and stayed loyal ever since, choosing in many cases to wait until they reopened rather than go elsewhere.
Some businesspeople say they are still having difficulties settling with insurance companies, but all agree to a large degree of trepidation every time it rains — especially as it could take three years for the OPW to complete flood protection works in the area.
Paul McCarthy, who runs McCarthy’s Sportsworld, said he “came very close to closing” as his stock was virtually annihilated.
“We supply sports equipment and school uniforms. We found that people, especially the children, were prepared to wait until we reopened rather than shop elsewhere.”
Billy Black, who runs Spick ‘N’ Span dry cleaners, said people in his trade really helped him out, singling out LC Services in Mayfield for loaning him machines for free.
“It restored my faith in humanity,” he said.
Therese Holland, whose family run Glanmire Hardware, said she has been told by her insurers that they will not renew her flood cover.
“We were about a week out of business. There was muck and water everywhere,” she said.
Recovery rates varied depending on the type of business. Some were luckier than others.
At The Hairdresser salon it was nearly business as normal the following day. Manager Tommy MacMonagle said they ripped out all the timber and were fortunate to have a tiled floor underneath, which was power washed.
But like others he remains apprehensive every time there’s a lot of rain, saying: “We’re constantly watching the river.”
Don Murphy, auctioneer, had to clear everything from his office, but was able to relocate to a vacant premises in the adjoining Crestfield Shopping Centre.
The First Plus pharmacy suffered more than most, with losses estimated at hundreds of thousands of euro, including a Fuji laboratory which alone cost €200,000.
The businesses were honoured at a special function sponsored by Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel.
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