Since we first published the news that SL License renewals would be capped at one year back on 26th October we have received a number of concerned responses from traders.
The following comment on Victraders typifies the concern – “So management have decided that our businesses are not worth anything. How can anyone be expected to sell a business with only a 1 year lease with no options. Management says if we sell, we sell our business not our stalls, but with no goodwill margin in the sale, that's just unfair.”
Our CEO has responded today as follows –
I write to respond to the SL Trader concerns about licences that are expiring being offered a 1-year term at this stage (rather than 3 or 6 years as may have happened previously) and the impact this has on the perceived value (by traders) of their business. I explain the context and rationale below.
As everyone knows, there are intentions to upgrade and improve facilities and the environment for traders and customers as part of the overall Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project. We're not sure yet exactly what the timing of any building works will be, but we do know that when decisions are made as to the timing of building works, costs are known and scheduling is put in place (not likely to be known until at least mid-2015), we will need to relocate traders in affected areas so that work can proceed.
In order to ensure that the renewal project proceeds in a timely manner and the market can continue to trade during the renewal project, QVM will need to ensure that it has the flexibility to operate the market and temporarily relocate traders as and when required, after fully consulting with the traders.
It is also possible that the total footprint of land available for SL licence holders may diminish for some period of time during the renewal, and that a policy may need to be developed to start limiting the total number of licences in place at one time. It is prudent for QVM to retain flexibility.
This means that it is not appropriate to enter into new 3 or 6 year term licences at this time.
Traders operating under an SL may still sell their business. QVM is not in any way prohibiting this.
Any trader who has a genuine desire to sell should let the administration know, and if you have a potential buyer in place, we will see what we can do to help facilitate a suitable outcome for you. We have already done this in at least one case.
If anyone wishes to have this explained further please speak to Russell Wheelhouse or Ian Creaton or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org