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Business closures prompt ‘shop local’ call

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ICONIC The facade of Glynn's hardware store on Shop Street in Westport.

Oisin McGovern

A LOCAL representative from Westport is appealing to people to shop locally after two local businesses announced their closure last week.
Cllr Brendan Mulroy called on people to support their local businesses after the iconic JJ Glynn’s hardware store on Shop Street announced it would be closing in February. This comes just days after popular local restaurant Cian’s On Bridge Street said that it would be closing its Westport premises.
In a statement on Facebook yesterday (Monday), JJ Glynn’s cited ‘an economical downturn’ among the reasons for their closing.
The 99-year-old shop had been run by the Warde family and had previously been a gun store and a pub.
“We will be closing down towards the end of the month or early February, no exact date has been decided yet but it will be most likely the first Saturday in February,” it stated.
“Due to the economical downturn in business in the last few years it is hard to sustain it, and the best way forward is to close up and move on unfortunately. We have been in business in Westport for 99 years through four generations and we have developed a great relationship with our customers over the years, we are very grateful to everyone who supported us throughout the years, even going back to 1924 until 2023.
“We will miss the craic and social side of serving the public and everything that goes with it, but time goes on and it’s a hard time for every business right now with prices increasing and costs constantly rising just to sustain a business,” it continued, before thanking people for their support.

Rising costs
Cian’s on Bridge Street cited ‘rising costs and the fallout from Covid’ for its decision to close its Westport establishment. The award-winning restaurant confirmed that their new Castlebar premises would be remaining open.
“We want to keep our heads up high as we will always keep going and trying new things so keep an eye out for something new in the near future!,” read a statement on their Facebook page.
“I just want to give a big thanks to all the lovely customers we’ve had in the last seven years and all the staff that has worked for Cian’s on Bridge Street, all the customers who have welcomed us into Castlebar and the great staff we have there, all the help from family and good friends, and all the local suppliers who have been very patient lately, it means a lot! We couldn’t have done it without you all!”
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), Cllr Brendan Mulroy described the business closures as ‘a massive loss to Westport’.

Government need to help
The Fianna Fáil councillor called for the government to help for smaller businesses with rising costs.
“If this keeps going it’ll put not just Westport, but the whole of the county and country in serious trouble,” Cllr Mulroy said.
“The bigger businesses - within reason - are probably getting bigger, but it’s detrimental to the small business within the community, the ones that has kept the community going through thick and thin down through the years, particularly when it comes to sponsorship.
“These small communities rely on their local businesses for sponsorship and a lot more than that, a lot of community events too. It’s a massive loss to Westport.”
Cllr Mulroy said the after-affects of the Covid-19 lockdowns were ‘still relevant’ but that a different plan was needed to help struggling businesses.
“We need to come at it from a different side. I think it would be important that the local people would support their local business. That needs to go out loud and clear also,” he said.
“Today is a particularly sad day for the Warde family, they are through and through Westport people. They’ve been an absolutely fantastic contribution to the community down through the years and it really is a sad day for Westport and all of west Mayo.”