Tenants of the Kalolo Bartley Building in Apia will not be paying their $25,000 monthly rent this month.
According to the Charles Bartley and Sons (C.B.S.) Board Chairman, Rudy Bartley, this is part of their post-Tropical Cyclone Gita assistance to their tenants.
Charles "Kalolo" Bartley building is the one of the oldest buildings in Apia.
It is where the Bartley family ran a successful copra trading and merchant shop in the early 1900s.
“The building standing today was built in the mid-1970's,” Mr. Bartley said.
“Now the building leases space to tenants and houses Apia Pharmacy, G.S.I, Josephine's Boutique and Herman Bartley fabrics with more than 70 people employed in total by all these businesses."
“The Kalolo Bartley building is celebrating its 80th year this year and will be having a Bartley Family reunion in July to mark this occasion.”
Regarding the recovery efforts, Mr. Bartley said the C.B.S. Board recognises the hardship and the loss of tenants because of the recent cyclone.
“The floodwaters were much higher than previous cyclones and this affected the tenants."
“The government drainage system, being constructed for several months now at the back of the C.B.S. building, was unable to cope with the flooding and was not effective."
“Many tenants lost much stock in the flooding and the aftermath required a lot of cleanup work to be done. Some worked whole of Sunday in order to open on Monday. Others were open for business on Monday and were still cleaning up."
“We are saddened by what has happened and we sympathise with our tenants with the effect this will have on their businesses."
“With this assistance, we hope this will encourage them to keep the faith and help their business operations in order to continue their service to the people of Samoa. Hopefully back to business as usual,” said Mr. Bartley.
He said in addition to the assistance, C.B.S. supplied lunch for staff of tenants on Friday to end the busy week of cleaning and ease the hardship caused by the cyclone.