Timaru motel forced to close as lockdowns bite
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.