Rents deferred in Dockyard for second month
Rent deferrals have been offered for a second month to businesses in Dockyard because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cancellation of more than 70 cruise ships to Bermuda this year.
The West End Development Corporation said it had given commercial tenants a rent deferral for May, as it did in April.
The cancellation of cruise ship voyages to Bermuda, with many operators not expected to resume sailings until the end of next month or later, mean the island will lose out on at least 200,000 cruise passengers.
The majority of cruise ships berth at Kings Wharf and Heritage Wharf in Dockyard.
A Dockyard business owner, who asked not to be named, said many in the area had struggled.
She said: “Our reasons for opening in the Dockyard were because of the guarantee of the now-agreed four cruise ships per week.
“Dockyard has expanded since the beginning of the opening of the Clocktower Mall.
“Our stock is geared for those customers and our sales are reliant on this type of business. Our stock, as with other businesses, had arrived for the new 2020 season.”
The businesswoman added: “We traded during the slow winter months with a small reduction in operating hours. We have received little business since then.
“Christmas business in Dockyard is very limited. Our payroll, however, stays the same and our operating costs likewise. Most businesses are now already stocked with merchandise for the beginning of the new season, which was from April.”
Andrew Dias, the general manager of Wedco, said the corporation wanted to work with its tenants to ease the strain of the lockdown.
He added: “Additionally, we ask each tenant to communicate with us, provide information which then could be used to assess their position and afford both of us the ability to work together and tailor a solution. This approach has been extended to every commercial tenant.”