Entrepreneur calls on property owners to relax rentals


A BUSINESS operator says while the banks are offering relief packages to customers due to the Covid-19 crisis, landlords should also help clients that are affected with rental relief.
Labels Clothing secondhand managing director Elizabeth Kimisopa said the social distancing measures and state of emergency, provincial curfews and lockdowns resulted in limited business hours.
However, the rentals had remained the same.
Kimisopa said most Papua New Guineans shopped for clothes at secondhand shops.
Labels Clothing also has a number of diversified businesses in construction, boarding and lodging, wholesale and retail and general merchandise, employing around 360 people.
Labels has been operating in PNG for 28 years and in 14 centres around the country and employs 180 locals.
“I am fairly disappointed,” she said.
“I’ve noticed a number of commercial banks have come up and have been setting concessions or reductions of lending rates, deferral of loan repayments and so on, but that is lip service.”
Kimisopa said the government needed to bring in property owners regarding the provision of the same relief provided by the banks.
“It is the PNG Government who derives most of the income by way of tax or import duty or salary and wage tax, GST (goods and services tax) and so forth from the private sector, and if it cannot demonstrate to the private sector then the (economic) contraction which the country is experiencing in terms of the GDP (gross domestic product) will be quite severe because then you will have the private sector employees and employers also experiencing huge problems not in this year but in the years to come.”