Great news for some of our commercial/retail customers this month, both business owners and landlords. We have seen the easing of some of the restrictions with the advice that further easing will come within a reasonably shortened period of time. Around the middle of May the NSW government decided to ease some of the restrictions around cafes and restaurants with permission granted to have 10 people dine in at the venue. This was soon followed by the announcement that 50 people will be allowed to attend a venue as at 1 June 2020. Of course, social distancing measures are still to be adhered to and in all cases the 4 square metre rule applies to the available floorspace. There will be a maximum of 10 people allowed to book in as a group. We see this as at least a step in the right direction and certainly for smaller venues, with lesser seating capacity and gearing toward take away, this may entitle them to move toward a full capacity in any case.
Hairdressers plus nail and beauty salons are also starting to open again and we assume that within the next month some other operations such as yoga studios and gyms may be able to open with distancing and attendee restrictions in place. Retail outlets have begun their slow return to opening and many of the shopping malls have reported increased numbers of shoppers in the past week or so.
Many other areas are opening up too with a return to school for students from May 25, and although we are no-where near a return to “normal”, the freedoms we so often take for granted are beginning to appear. From a landlords point of view these events will signal a possible return to the negotiating table as lessees kick start their businesses and take the road back to profitability enabling them to resume paying rent in whatever capacity they can afford. A majority of our landlords have found this a difficult time with little or no help from Federal or State governments to this point to assist in the loss of revenue or to help pay continuing costs associated with their properties. Financial institutions have offered various mortgage payment plans to ease the burden however these have come with an increased price tag when interest is capitalised over the “holiday” period. Hardly an offering of substantial merit in our opinion.
We look forward to sharing more good news with you in the near future and as always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions on property related matters.