Saturday, October 16

Business born after confinement

Carmen Vargas poses at her business on Portugal Street.  |  PILAR CORTÉS

Carmen Vargas poses at her business on Portugal Street. | PILAR CORTÉS

Carmen had been with the idea of ​​opening her own business for years, but did not take the step until she was locked up at home for three months without work due to confinement. Until the pandemic broke out, she and her husband worked at fairs selling footwear. ‘Confinement tore us apart. With purchased merchandise, there was no work at all. So when the state of alarm was lifted, we started looking for premises “, explains Carmen Vargas, who has run a shoe store on a perpendicular to Maisonnave since July. «I had seen this place for years and I negotiated the price because they asked us a lot. We were clear that we wanted a central area for tourists and people from the province who come to the city “, continues Carmen, who after a summer” better than expected “has begun to feel” vertigo “after an October” disastrous”. He asks the Administration for aid for the sector: “We need support, many businesses close.”

More optimistic is Ana Rodríguez, who decided to change her life after confinement. Although without anticipating it. «I was a customer of this bar. One day, after the confinement, I found out that the owner wanted to transfer it. I quit my job, where I was wrong, and decided to stay with this place », says Ana, owner of a bar near the Plaza de España. «I am happy, the reception has been wonderful. I am glad that my desire could with the natural vertigo “, admits the young woman, who – despite this optimism – is concerned about the new limitations to the hotel industry and, above all, what may come.

An employee of the new premises on Calle del Teatro. | PILAR CORTÉS

Ana Rodríguez, in her bar on Capitán Amador street. | PILAR CORTÉS

Rafi Alcaide, together with his store in the Central Market. | PILAR CORTÉS

Juan Luis Gómez, in his business in Miriam Blasco. | PILAR CORTÉS

Shortly before Ana, he opened the third location of the Charo Martín dry cleaner. She, together with her husband and her son Juan Manuel, had decided to expand the business to the Rambla area, after having premises in the surroundings of Maisonnave and Playa de San Juan. “We were looking for new clients in an area with many offices. We agreed to rent the new premises in February, and then everything exploded », explains the son of the founder of the business, now administrator of the company. The new dry cleaner was opened just a month ago. “The crisis, although it will affect us for sure, has not taken away the idea. It was firm, it is a good place and there is business, although this situation touches us because now much fewer people work in person, and at home you don’t wear shirts or jackets. Of course, we have cleaned more carpets than ever, “adds Juan Manuel, who assumes that they will have at least half a year more of suffering due to the COVID crisis.

Waiting for what will happen is Rafi Alcaide, who this coming Tuesday plans to lift the blind of the fishmonger that he has set up with his brother in the Central Market. The sector is not new to them, but the location is. “My brother had been thinking about this project for a long time, but the final decision was not until the summer,” explains Rafi, who is excited: “Despite the crisis, people always eat, they tend to cut back from other places.” However, he admits that the adventure generates a certain “fear” for the “unknown”, since when “leaving the neighborhood” [la Florida] “It’s time to start from scratch.” The decoration of the business is the work of the bonfire artist Federico Molinero, another of the professionals affected by the pandemic.

In the countdown to opening his business there is also Juan Luis Gómez, whom the confinement allowed him to give shape to his initiative: “I realized that there were no places to personally wash your dog without staining your house. I looked for a place in the Miriam Blasco area, because many people live here with pets and there are dog parks, and as it was big enough I decided to expand the idea: we are also going to have a cafeteria. Juan Luis, who before embarking on this project worked in a package delivery company, appreciates the full support of his friend Elvira.

He, like others to whom the covid has served as a boost for their businesses, have had the support of his own. “Many tell us that we are crazy, but they always help. There is no other “, agree several entrepreneurs from Alicante.

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