Could this be the end of Mitchelstown's business association?
The life of Mitchelstown Business Association (MBA) which has been part and parcel of the town for almost 30 years, may well be at an end. Dut to poor attendance at meetings, the association could be no more as the members prepare for one final meeting on May 20.
At the most recent meeting of the MBA, it was proposed and seconded that the association be disbanded, as it was felt that there wasn't enough interaction from business people, that the same people were going to meeting after meeting and that the MBA in its current guise was not effective.
Margaret Hyland of The Scullery has been a member of the MBA since just after herself and her husband Jack started out in business 32 years ago and in her opinion, the MBA has simply 'run its course'.
She added that they had great years and did achieve a lot for the town, but now it's time to wrap things up. However, she did say she would like to see new people getting involved and being part of some sort of business group in the town. Many business people are working six days a week, she said and cannot attend meetings with councillors and officials within business hours.
The current chairperson Mark Waldron told The Avondhu that for every meeting they would send out just over 50 text messages and often, less than ten people would be at the meetings.
He said that while the decision to disband the MBA was not taken lightly, he does feel that the business people do need a voice.
"We are trying to get Mitchelstown back on the map, but we can't do that as individuals. If people want to see something done, they should have come to the meetings. But I would like to think that if enough people want to get involved, that the MBA wouldn't be disbanded," the owner of Marks Fruit & Veg said.
He stressed that the meetings only took an hour out of people's schedules every month and he said that there is a great business community in the town.
Without the MBA, Mark argued that it would be very hard for business people to approach the council or other officials about ongoing issues such as encouraging people to shop local and freeing up parking on the street for potential customers.
On this note, Mark made a final appeal to people not to park on the main streets during trading hours, as they are jeopardising potential business for the business people of the town.
"People who are working or living in the town and who are parking outside businesses premises, are affecting people's business. There is parking available within a few minutes walk of any workplace - the parking situation is killing businesses," he said.
Anyone who wishes to have their say on the future of the MBA is encouraged to attend the meeting on May 20 in O'Callgahan's Delicatessen at 6.15pm.
Friday 16th May 10:11am