Following the welcome measures to assist businesses in the hospitality, leisure, distributive and catering sectors (including shops and general retail), announced by the Chief Minister on Monday this week, the trading environment has continued to deteriorate. Many businesses are experiencing a full-blown crisis with no clarity on how long this will last.
Current projections are that the severity of the health crisis will worsen for the next 3 months. The subsequent economic one will last much longer.
Since the announcement by the Chief Minister, many commercial landlords have been swift to act and heed the government’s appeal to reduce rents by at least 50% and be flexible with their commercial tenants. Some landlords have even offered reductions in rent for those who operate in sectors which are not covered by the measures announced by the government. Some landlords have gone much further and offered rent-free periods for the next quarter to help their tenants weather the current crisis. This has been very welcome and demonstrates the strong bonds of solidarity which we have as a community.
The Chamber and the GFSB would like to thank those landlords who have already taken these steps to help their tenants. We would also call on the Landlord’s Association and all remaining commercial landlords to assist their tenants in the current crisis. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to assist those businesses to try to keep trading so at least they can continue to exist and hold on to their staff in the long term.
The current crisis will pass in due course and we need to have the ability to rebuild our economy. Only by ensuring the continued viability of businesses can this be done.
Many people, in both the public and private sectors, have already made enormous sacrifices and more will be asked of them in the weeks and months ahead. It is incumbent on each of us to do what we can to help each other. When trading improves, we do not want to look back with regret and think if only we had done more to help. Do it today. Do it now.
The Chamber and the GFSB will keep its members updated accordingly.
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