Landlords asked to be flexible with commercial rents

Gosford Closed SignAs businesses close, landlords are being asked to extend a rent holiday to business tenants. Image: CCN, Gofsord.

The Gosford Erina Business Chamber is calling for flexibility to be applied to business when it comes to commercial rents across the Central Coast.

Chamber President, Rod Dever, said the action would help save small to medium business operations that are doing it tough due to restrictions and business declines directly related to the coronavirus.
“COVID-19 has and will continue to impact on business viability across the region,” Dever said.
“Whilst the government and big bank lenders are offering flexibility on many repayments, now is the time for landlords to show support of business to their tenants, in order to keep business on the Central Coast open.
“Their direct support could influence the decision for a business to remain in operation or force it to close and cease operations.
“Business is experiencing an unprecedented downturn to a level never seen.
“Landlords who can make rental concessions would benefit in the long run by keeping their existing tenants in place.
“This would be assisting them to be better positioned to survive the current decline and come back to full operation in the future.
“Where a business is forced to close, the service they offered in the local market could be lost.
“The cost of attracting new tenants is estimated to be five times greater than working to retain an existing established tenant, so overall it may be in landlords’ better interests longer term to work with their existing tenants on a tailored support package.
“Landlords have the cost of attracting new tenants, which usually includes rent free periods for fit out and set up, in addition to advertising and legal fees.”
Dever said the move would also generate a stronger relationship between tenants and landlords.
“Business operators are also encouraged to talk with their landlords to keep them up to date on impacts to their business,” he said.
“Communication between the tenant and landlords will be key in this process.”

Media release, Mar 23
Gosford Erina Business Chamber, Rod Dever