Ti­maru mo­tel forced to close as lock­downs bite

The Timaru Herald - - Front Page - Samesh Mo­han­lall

Covid-19 re­lated is­sues have claimed a third Ti­maru hos­pi­tal­ity busi­ness in a month.

Town­house Mo­tel own­ers Barry and Lisa Hill said they were forced to shut their busi­ness on Septem­ber 17 af­ter a liq­ui­da­tion or­der was placed against them by land­lord, Linco Prop­er­ties, in the Ti­maru High Court.

The clo­sure of the mo­tel on Evans St/State High­way 1 fol­lows the clo­sures of pizza busi­ness Slice of Heaven in late Au­gust and Naruwan restau­rant last week.

Lisa Hill said a lack of book­ings due to closed New Zealand bor­ders had had a big im­pact on the busi­ness.

‘‘We’ve had no busi­ness since lock­down. There’s no tourists around, so yeah this caused us to close.

‘‘There’s not re­ally been any do­mes­tic tourism ei­ther,’’ Hill said.

She said they were un­aware Govern­ment ad­vice and as­sis­tance through the South Can­ter­bury

Cham­ber of Com­merce was avail­able to them.

‘‘We did not know there was any fund that could help the busi­ness.’’

The Hills are now un­cer­tain about their fu­ture.

Cham­ber chief ex­ec­u­tive Wendy Smith said tar­geted sup­port to help Ti­maru busi­nesses af­fected by Covid-19 was avail­able through the Re­gional Busi­ness Part­ner Net­work, and Ven­ture Ti­maru Pro­fes­sional Ser­vices Grant.

New Zealand Hos­pi­tal­ity As­so­ci­a­tion South Can­ter­bury branch pres­i­dent and ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor spokesper­son Kristy Phillips said busi­nesses had been im­pacted since Jan­uary when the in­ter­na­tional travel slow­down and par­tial shut­ting down of bor­ders was first im­ple­mented.

‘‘When you look at mo­tels and ac­com­mo­da­tion busi­nesses there’s an ex­tra layer of stress on those op­er­a­tors be­cause, should they lose their busi­ness, they lose their home.

‘‘The whole year has been com­pletely un­pre­dictable. With busi­nesses that un­pre­dictabil­ity brings un­cer­tainty in terms of staff ros­ter­ing and other el­e­ments.’’

The Town­house Mo­tel on Evans St.

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