TRADERS across the county will be praying for a weekend thaw – to save Christmas.
Crazy weather conditions have severely hit businesses across the county as people struggle to reach the main towns.
Shopping areas in Letterkenny and Donegal Town have been badly hit, with one shop owner admitting: “If we don’t get the thaw, it will be a nightmare.”
The only upside for local Donegal businesses is that the roads to Derry, Strabane, Omagh and Enniskillen are so bad, people aren’t going North to spend either.
The shop owner in Letterkenny, who asked not to be named, admitted: “We rely on this time of the year for 30% of our annual takings, but the weather has been so bad we are way behind where we would normally be.
“We have good offers, even better than the North, but if people aren’t shopping because of the weather there is nothing we can do about it.
“We had hoped to get a pre-Budget lift, but it didn’t happen and now that people are feeling the pinch, they are unlikely to spend now.”
Pubs, clubs and hotels are also suffering with a string of Christmas parties and other events cancelled.
Letterkenny is particularly quiet for this time of the year, but it’s the same story in many other towns across the county.
“This could ruin us,” admitted one publican.
“People aren’t coming out. We’ve had so many party cancellations. We need a thaw or Christmas will be cancelled – and jobs will be lost.”