The Daily Star / Hassan Shaaban
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Beirut's soul is hanging in the balance, according to a local initiative, which is fighting to preserve the heritage of Beirut's streets by calling on inhabitants to "shop local".After moving her shop around the block several times, Nadine Nader, co-owner of the family-run toy store "Family Shop" in Beirut's Ashrafieh, said she's on the verge of giving up.While municipalities have neglected the needs of small-time owners and imposed strict conditions and high fees in many areas, some of the shops failed to keep up with developing trends in business, causing them to fail, Ayoub said.In an attempt to bolster the appeal of street shops to potential customers, Rou7 Beirut offered free "social media" and "window display" workshops to business owners.The social media workshops, on the other hand, encouraged shops to engage with customers online and maintain an active Facebook page.Indeed, The Family Shop is only one of the many shops in the area facing the tough decision.With post-1992 contracts, the monthly rent of a small shop in Beirut ranges from $500 to $1,000 per month on average, reaching $3,000 in areas with high-demand, such as Hamra, Downtown and Verdun, according to listings on local real-estate websites.
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