City update – looking ahead to the summer as lockdown eases

— 2 Jul 2020, 13:58:58 by Scott Lynch

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The other day I read an article on the BBC news site about how the commercial sector is going to be affected by… you know what. “The new normal” and other catchphrases are starting to wear thin; I’ve certainly heard enough of the endless stream of negativity.

Like any economic downturn, we’re aware of what’s going on around us. When all we hear is bad news, perhaps we overly tighten our belts, making the situation worse. Personally, I’m a glass-half-full type of guy and would like to share some of the good I’ve seen over the last few months, whilst looking to the future.

The March quarter was undeniably difficult for many commercial operators and our department spent time arranging payment plans for some tenants whilst they organised additional support. The general feedback was that the government support was received quicker than expected and many have used some of the funding to ready their businesses for reopening.

It’s been really encouraging to see so many retailers adapt quickly to the changes required. We’re now faced with environments that we genuinely feel safe in and commercial spaces that look fresher than before. Many we speak to are trading well, with residents supporting local businesses rather than walking by, as they may have done in pre-pandemic times.

We’re now looking to the summer quarter with more businesses preparing to open. We must see this as a positive step forward. Like others I know, I’m now looking forward to a staycation, so clearly there will be money spent in the South East that was intended for holidays abroad.

It’s also great to see projects like the Green Spaces and Brighton University expansion pushing ahead at a pace. The huge number of contractors around is reassuring and the extra capacity these areas will provide makes the medium to long term prospects of investing as a landlord or business owner in the South East very promising.

In the meantime, I hope that everyone continues to support our brilliant local businesses and the landlords we care for at Graves Son & Pilcher.

If you would like advice from our Commercial Property Management team, contact David Renaut or Scott Lynch.

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