Some 30 new businesses opened up in Mullingar in the period before Christmas, according to Mullingar Chamber.
Chamber president Paul O’Brennan says the rate of new business start-up appeared to be higher in Mullingar than anywhere else in the country, and that local retailers had reported a festive season that was “not as bad as expected”.
“The majority of these new businesses opened in the 12 to 14 weeks before Christmas. Some are on a three-month trial, and the Chamber helped negotiate rates for several businesses. There are another three to four ready to open in the next few months,” said Mr O’Brennan.
“Some businesses reported a drop of 15 per cent since last Christmas, but they were very happy with this as they expected to be down about 30 per cent. Things weren’t quite as bad as expected. Having more businesses open up was great.”
While a final figure is not yet available on the sale of Mullingar Chamber gift vouchers, which were available in the run-up to Christmas, Mr Brennan is expecting to see a drop in sales from last year.
“There are fewer people employed, so fewer vouchers were given out by companies as Christmas presents,” he said.