Rosa Cardona met with local business people of cocktail bars, pubs and discos to listen first-hand at the difficulties they face due to forced closure.

Populares Xàbia representative Rosa Cardona has met with the owners of nightlife venues in the town which have been forced to close their doors by the regional government since the middle of August to hear their own testimonies of the difficulties they have been forced to face by the closure of their businesses.

One of the objectives of the meeting was to find alternatives to avoid a definite closure of establishments which will have serious consequences on individuals and families who rely on them as well as the rest of the services sector with indirectly depends on them.

The Populares Xàbia group has proposed that these venues be able to transfer their opening licenses to become ‘cafeterias’ for as long the emergency restrictions are maintained, something that has been implemented in other municipalities across the Alicante and Valencia provinces, which would help reduce illegal parties and open-air drinking groups – the “botellóns” – which have proliferated since the nightlife venues were forced to close.

The group claims that the transfer of licences is quite feasible because of the similarity of both activities. The owners would not have to make any significant changes to their venues but would need to comply with the requirements and capacity limitations of a cafeteria license; a food service cannot be offered, dance floors must be placed off-limits and the venue must comply with all the current health measures in addition to the normal conditions of a cafeteria licence.

Populares say that it is clear that this is the only solution to be able to open up again after the enforced closure in August and face the continuing expenses of owning a business; rent payments, municipal taxes, insurance and payment of suppliers as well as avoiding being forced to let go employees. These are all expenses that have to be faced, despite the temporary closure of the business.

Populares Xàbia plan to present the proposal to temporarily transfer nightlife venue licences to that of a cafeteria at the next plenary meeting of the Council for approval by all the political parties and that the successful application of a venue fully depends on compliance with all the necessary regulations.