Businesses large and small are fighting to stay afloat during this global pandemic. Each day, closed businesses are losing thousands of dollars even as they struggle to pay rent for their properties. In Vancouver, British Columbia, nightclubs are fighting the same battle and taking heavy hits. The Hospitality Vancouver Association has categorized it as “a dire situation”, realizing many loved venues may never open their doors again.
“I don’t see a path for more than 10 per cent of clubs surviving without some sort of assistance”
According to a report from CCTV News, spokesperson Laura Ballance from the Hospitality Vancouver Association explained COVID-19’s impact. Ballance normally works with clubs on a regular bases but everything has been shut down since mid-March. The shutdown has also left nightclub employees out of work. With over 2 months of zero revenue made, many club owners are running on fumes to pay expensive city rents as well. Unfortunately, no one really knows when the nightclubs can safely reopen.
With the light at the end of the tunnel still blurry, owners are wondering if it’s worth fighting on. At the end of the day, rent is still due each month, regardless if a business is open or closed. For some owners, it would take years to pay back debts before turning a profit again. The federal government’s pandemic relief program will cover 75% of commercial rent if landlords apply. Unfortunately, many landlords are not completing the application for their properties.
If less than 10% of clubs in Vancouver survive this pandemic, it would likely create a domino effect on the rest of the city’s businesses. Over 11 million people visit Vancouver every year, with clubs attracting both tourists and residents. As difficult as it has been for the past 2 months, club owners will have to continue to wait for the green light to safely open.