Traders from Douglas Village Shopping Centre are seeking an urgent meeting with centre management and owners over concerns regarding insurance payments.
The Trader’s group has said they need a letter confirming how long the shopping centre is expected to be closed so they can access insurance payments.
The group also raised concerns about a lack of communication from the shopping centre owners and management, who they say they have not heard from since September 13.
Around 30 businesses were forced to close and let hundreds of staff go following a devastating fire in the centres' multi-storey car park on August 31.
The shopping centre has been closed since the fire and is not expected to reopen until next summer following extensive demolition and rebuilding work.
Traders have been left trying to find alternative accommodation in the meantime.
However, speaking to The Echo on Tuesday, Terry Coleman, an intermediary for the traders, City Hall and shopping centre management, said that traders have been left “paralysed” without a letter confirming the centre will remain closed for almost a year.
“The traders haven’t heard anything from the shopping centre owners or management since that very general press release on September 13.
“The traders need to get clarity from the owners to see how long the centre will actually be closed so they can start to claim insurance for business disruption,” he added.
“As of today, there hasn’t been any communication on that and I’ve been seeking meetings with the owners but I haven’t got a response yet.
“That’s not to say I won’t get a response in the coming days or so and I will be putting in another request today to meet with them,” said Mr Coleman.
“Without a letter confirming how long the centre will be closed, the traders are paralysed in relation to their insurance claims.
“All we want is to get clarity on the situation in terms of is it possible to get this letter and if not, why not, so we’re hoping that can be discussed.” Mr Coleman said that the failure to access insurance payments is making it difficult for traders affected by the fire to set up pop-up shops or find temporary units.
“They’re basically paralysed until they get that sorted,” he explained.
It had been reported that traders from the fire damaged shopping centre were hoping to establish temporary shops on the site of the Douglas Woollen Mills.
However, Mr Coleman said such a project would require planning permission and for traders to receive their insurance payments.