724 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
In 2018, our sales were just under $750,000, and last year they were just
over $860,000. In March, just prior to the closing of the restaurant enforced
by the Provincial response to the COVID 19 pandemic, the Lawyers Inn
Society had approximately $320,000 cash in the bank. Our annual accounts
are reviewed by Rolfe Benson, Chartered Accountants, and are available for
your review upon request.
Throughout the shutdown, and despite the fact that this Government has
encouraged commercial landlords to provide rent relief, none has been
offered to us, and we have continued to pay the full amount of our rent
($9,450 per month), without complaint.
We have been able to furlough most of our staff, reduce our other monthly
outgoings, and have made a successful demand for coverage under our
Business Interruption insurance policy, such that on our current projections,
we will be able to resurrect operations and continue as a going concern
(and full rent paying tenant), even if the restriction on crowd sizes
above 50 remains in place well into 2021 (as it is expected within the restaurant
and hospitality industry to do). As matters currently stand, we have 12
functions booked between October and December 2020 (although, as above,
they are unlikely to go ahead due to COVID related restrictions). We also
have 15 events booked between February and August, 2021 (12 of which are
weddings – our primary income earners).
Of course, there is an outstanding and as yet unresolved issue in relation to
rent arrears that were built up between April 1, 2010 and January 2019.
Those total $142,305.75. The reason this rent was not paid at the time, was
due to the fact the Inn was unable to operate and therefore put into financial
peril as a direct result of construction works that were undertaken immediately
outside of the restaurant windows, and a number of subsequent years
in which the reflecting pond was left an empty eyesore, collecting goose
guano. These caused the Inn to cancel many events, and lose many potential
other ones. The construction issues and losses from problems with the
pond were regularly brought to the attention of the Society’s then landlord
representatives, to no avail. The Lawyers Inn Society disputes the rental
arrears are properly owing, but have always been willing to discuss the matter
and again received no response from your representatives in response
to our requests to address this. We would be happy to provide copies of the
correspondence where attempts were made by the Society to address the
issue of alleged rental arrears, upon request.
As we understand it from our telephone conversation with the landlord representatives
on June 12, 2020, your position is that neither the roof garden