20 FEBRUARY 2002

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Business drive among Mellieha entrepreneurs

By Miriam Dunn

Mellieha is a unique business community in that the vast majority of both its investors and employees live locally. For this reason it is vital that the commercial interests are given the emphasis they deserve, both on a local and national level.

This is the philosophy of Patrick Cutajar, a Mellieha businessman who is the community representative for the Association of General Retailers and Traders and is also standing at the forthcoming local council elections as an independent candidate on behalf of the commercial sector.

Mr Cutajar, an IT consultant, highlighted some of the problems that have been of concern to the business community, notably parking and the roundabout project at the entrance into Mellieha.

"We have been hoping to see 40-minute maximum parking in Main Street since it was first proposed in March 2000," he said.

Mr Cutajar explained that the building of the new road had caused fears among the business community that the initial splitlevel design could lead to the loss of trade.

"Although we recognised that some people were travelling directly to the Gozo ferries and wouldn’t stop off in Mellieha, there was still concern that tourists in particular might lose the incentive to stop in our locality with the new road design," he said.

He said that the business community were pleased that the Transport minister Censu Galea appeared to have listened to their concerns and said the design for the new road would take on board their suggestions.

Mr Cutajar also highlighted a number of initiatives he hopes to see introduced, especially one of improving the image of Mellieha’s business community, giving it a more professional image, both within the area and outside.

"In fact, the whole locality needs better marketing," he added. "Unfortunately, many people from outside of Mellieha, both Maltese and tourists, only think of the beaches when they think of the area.

"We would like to encourage better promotion of other aspects of Mellieha, such as the historical and cultural aspects of the village and even specialised sectors such as sporting facilities," he said. "There are a number of hotels, including new ones, in Mellieha and with this in mind, we feel it is worth improving the locality’s image and the way it is marketed."

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt