Rents suspended at Wedco
West End Development Corporation has deferred all business rental charges for next month.
Andrew Dias, Wedco’s general manager, said the payments had been suspended “until we have a somewhat better understanding of the situation”.
He added the quango would “assess everyone on a case-by-case basis” to see if businesses would be given further relief as the coronavirus continued.
Non-essential businesses in Dockyard have already closed and the start of the cruise ship season has been delayed because of the pandemic. Mr Dias said a decision on “how much rent will be paid and when it is paid will be determined over the coming days and weeks”.
He added: “The situation is fluid. We don’t know if it’s going to be a one-month scenario or not. There is not enough information yet.”
Mr Dias said: “It’s not for anyone, whether it’s a tenant or Wedco, to say that you are entitled to a discount — every situation has to be looked at and addressed.
“What’s been done initially is to say that the rent is deferred. The idea is that tenants should feel some relief in the sense that we are not asking for cashflow today.”
Tenants were told of the decision in an e-mail from Joanna Cranfield, Wedco’s business development manager.
Ms Cranfield said that Wedco management was working remotely as its offices are shut until April 6 at the earliest.
The e-mail added: “The management team is conducting daily meetings via videoconferencing so we are able to address any pressing issues.
“We are aware that rental charges have been and remain on everyone’s minds and that businesses are closed and revenue is tight. As we are in very unprecedented times, we will defer the April rental charges for all commercial tenants.
“As is the case worldwide, we are unsure of what will happen going forward and what is the short, medium and long-term effects on business, including Wedco.”
Ms Cranfield said tenants would be billed on April 1 as usual, but payment would be delayed without penalty.
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