Small Businesses Still Hanging in There

YERUSHALAYIM -

If you haven’t been to Israel in some years, you would certainly find that much has changed, but one ancient fixture of commercial life that has survived the onslaught of the shopping malls and mammoth chain stores is the corner makolet or grocery store.

The Ministry of Economy and Industry published a report on Sunday by the Small and Medium Business Agency that neighborhood shops made a comeback in city centers and smaller towns despite overwhelming odds.

More and more of the mini-marts have sprung up, and the ties between the shopper and small shops continue to grow, according to Globes.

The small shop owners are beginning to organize to ensure their survival, as well. Last November, a new initiative to help build an association of independent shops and mini-marts won a million shekel grant from the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

The idea is to provide 5,000 small stores with food and pharmacy products with attractive prices. Although the initiative has yet to be implemented, registration for membership in the association got underway just last week.