A west Belfast shop owner was beaten and had his takings stolen in a “devastating” attack on his fledgling business.
Thugs targeted the proprietor of travel agent Breakaway Travels in the Kennedy Centre.
As he was opening up shortly after 8am yesterday, the man was grabbed from behind and bundled into the shop.
He was then beaten before the two-man gang made off in his car with an undisclosed sum of money.
He sustained an eye injury.
Sinn Fein councillor Janice Austin said the robbery could prove a bad blow to the business. She said: “It’s devastating, it really is. When you get up in the morning you do not think you are going to be beaten up and robbed.
“It would not be a long-established business.
“As far as I know, the business only opened a year or 18 months ago.
“When people are trying to make a go of a business, the first years are crucial. It is hard enough in this climate.”
Police are appealing for information.