Shop fam­ily on hold

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

WHIT­SUN­DAY Shop­ping Cen­tre man­age­ment hasn’t yet let Kim An­drews back into her shop af­ter Sun­day night’s fire.

She has seen the photos taken by in­surance in­ves­ti­ga­tors so she un­der­stands ex­actly why – there is noth­ing left.

Ur­ban Vil­lage was one of nine busi­nesses en­gulfed by the in­ferno that mer­ci­lessly de­stroyed ev­ery­thing in its path three days ago.

“The whole place is in­cin­er­ated. There is no other way to put it. It’s dust. There is noth­ing left” she said.

“Sharon and I are just dev­as­tated. We haven’t just lost our liveli­hood, we have lost ev­ery­thing.”

The sil­ver lin­ing – or as Kim put it, “the rain­bow af­ter the rain” – was that the busi­ness was fully in­sured.

Kim said she ex­pected it to be some time be­fore her busi­ness was up and run­ning again in the Whit­sun­day Shop­ping Cen­tre.

But she said the shop­ping cen­tre man­age­ment had been do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to re­store a sense of nor­mal­ity.

“Ev­ery­one is be­hind our busi­nesses and they do need to be con­grat­u­lated on what they have done,” she said.

Kim said the busi­nesses op­er­at­ing in the cen­tre were like a fam­ily.

“We see these guys ev­ery day,” she ex­plained, “whether it’s to get our cof­fee, we get our hair done, we bank here, we buy our beer here, we buy our gro­ceries here – it’s our shop­ping cen­tre fam­ily.”

DEV­AS­TATED: Own­ers of Ur­ban Vil­lage Home­wares Kim An­drews and Sharon Mc­Neill.

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