Small businesses in Fiji are being hit hard by a down turn in trade.
In its regular survey of business, the Fiji Retailers Association has found that some owners have seen a fall off in activity of more than fifty per cent and an average drop of forty per cent .
The Association's President, Himmat Lodhia, says customers are now concentrating their spending on essential items.
Mr Lodhia says with inflation over seven per cent the cost of doing business is also increasing:
"There are a few shops, which if they can get out of an agreement, or get out of a lease agreement, they will get out and they are clsoing shop. Some of the shops we know, right in the heart of the capital, the Suva city, in Cumming Street, I know of at least three shops which has just closed down one month ago."
The President of Fiji's Retail Association, Himmat Lodhia.