Accept, adapt and survive.
Thursday 11 August 2016
THE downturn might have slashed thousand of jobs and cost property investors dearly, but Di Hancock-Mills and Dee Parry from Real Estate Vision in Blackwater and Emerald say people have adjusted.
“It’s been a real learning curve and a massive education for a lot of businesses in Blackwater,” they said.
“A lot have gone broke, bankrupt or shut their doors, but others have opened their doors. for example, there was a time when there were no butchers in Blackwater, and now we have two.
“Blackwater is resilient, and the people are tough, they saw this in the 1970’s, and they saw it in the 1990’s, and we’re seeing it again now.”
According to Ms Hancock-Mills, a big part of what has changed for a lot of businesses is their fixed rental costs.
Although she says, some non-local landlords took too long to acknowledge the changes that were happening in Blackwater.
“Some Landlords were slow to adjust, they had leases that were charging ridiculous amounts, and instead of renegotiating mid-term they just forced the tenant into bankruptcy.
“Then they had to re-rent the place out on a new lease agreement that was in some cases, just 10% of what they had before.”
“Unfortunately, a lot of jobs were lost in that process.”
Looking to the future, Ms Hancock-Mills is cautiously optimistic.
“I don’t see the Blackwater community has any confidence at the moment, they are just fighting to stay alive,” she said.
“I don’t believe it’s all doom and gloom; coal is going to come back, despite what the greenies might say.
“Blackwater is a very tight-knit community, and they will get through this, it’s just going to need more of a price recovery for some of the projects in the pipeline to get off the ground.”“There are lots of people looking to buy houses in Blackwater at the moment because they know coal is going to come back.”
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