Trade resumes after tough week
TRADE has resumed at the Whitsunday Shopping Centre, but even for those businesses who escaped Sunday's blaze the past week hasn't been easy.
Cherrie Baby Boutique owner Sophie Camm said the past week had been tough.
"That was hard because, obviously, the loss of trade and we still pay wages to our staff," she said.
"I know there's a lot of businesses in the centre that would have really struggled with the loss of trade for a whole week."
MBW On The Barbie owner Karen Rix said it had been tough on them too.
"If we didn't start trading by Tuesday I was going to be looking at taking the money out of my personal account to cover my staff wages because I'm not going to let them down," she said.
"We lost everything out the front of the shop.
"I've still got to pay my bills (and) I've still got to replace my stock."
Saturday morning saw a lifting of spirits however, with shoppers returning in solid numbers.
MBW On The Barbie did their bit as well, hosting a barbecue for staff and shoppers.
"It's a celebration of coming back to the shopping centre, and it's hopefully going to help boost morale a little bit," Ms Rix said on Saturday morning.
"We're doing them at the standard fundraising prices, so they're not to make a profit.
"Coles have wonderfully donated the bread, so they're right on board with the morale as well."
Ms Rix implored the community to turn out and support the centre while its tenants get back on their feet.
"Not just today, not just this week, but for the next 12 months or so," she said.
"However long it takes to get back up to full strength."
BUSINESSES OPEN FOR TRADE:
Airlie Nails & Spa
Asian Products on the Go
Banjo's Bar and Bistro
Body Haven Massage
Cherrie Baby Boutique
MBW On The Barbie
Mr Lin's Noodle Bar
The Laundry Mat