YYoga Northshore Elements, which was one of the first businesses to open a boutique in the resort 12 years ago, has announced to its members that it will close permanently on July 8, blaming the blame on its owner, the District of North Vancouver. Other business owners who have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the owner of Delany’s Coffee House, say the neighborhood’s inflexibility raises questions about whether a business can be viable there.
For eight of the past 16 months, YYoga founder Terry McBride has been forced to close his studio by provincial health ordinances, meaning there has been no income to cover the monthly rent, and when he was possible to open, it was only reduced capacity. .
“We would pay what we could,” McBride said. “We still have over $ 100,000 in arrears. “
With 12 studios in the same predicament, McBride said they had no choice but to seek creditor protection as he sought to restructure the business. This gave them time to permanently close some locations and renegotiate with other owners, which generally resulted in the remission of COVID-related arrears.
Federal bankruptcy rules state that creditors, like the District of North Vancouver, must not be privileged over each other, which means that the district’s demand for the entire $ 100,000 rent to be repaid could cause the entire restructuring to fail.
“If we are to pay these arrears, we have to pay everyone’s arrears. Then we are bankrupt, ”said McBride. “Our bankruptcy lawyer explained this to them. Frozen. No empathy at all.
For its members, YYoga has been a place of wellness and community development, but it has also drawn 100,000 visitors a year to Lynn Valley Village, many of whom would support other businesses in the resort, McBride said.
After the failed negotiations, McBride said his best hope was to directly call on the district council to intervene, which YYoga members are now doing.
« [The district] will lose a client who pays rent in July. More than fifty people will lose their jobs. And a few thousand members will lose their studios, ”he said. “How does this benefit the District of North Vancouver?” You have just created a loss-loss, where you could have created a win-win.
In an emailed statement, District Planning Director Dan Milburn explained the district’s position.
“We understand and respect the fact that many tenants in Lynn Valley Village and businesses across the district have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked to support the business community during this difficult time, providing rent deferrals and expanded patio space where appropriate, ”he said. “We have provided the same support to YYoga that we have offered to other tenants, and have offered a settlement that we believe is fair and equitable while meeting our obligations to taxpayers. It is important to note that YYoga refused our offer, which was to pay their rent arrears by July 2025. Unfortunately, they have decided to cancel their lease effective July 17, 2021.
Robin Delany, who opened the Lynn Valley Village location of his family cafe shortly after the resort opened, described the neighborhood as a “very, very difficult” owner, noting that the only concession businesses were offered. during COVID-19 postponed their usual rent to subsequent months.
“I said ‘There are a million other things you can do.’ And they chose to do nothing, ”he said.
Even as the companies are gradually returning to full capacity, by no means have they gone out of the woods and it is unlikely that any of them will be able to repay the district in full, Delany said.
“Our business has never been as bad as it has been since the start of the pandemic. It was really dramatic, ”he said.
And every time a business leaves, things are going to get more difficult for others because they rely so much on each other to attract customers.
“My best wishes are that [the district] start acting like a responsible business owner and doing what it takes to attract good tenants, ”he said.
A sign on the door to Nourish Market says they are closed for renovations, but Delany said they will not reopen with the same owner. And Van Pet will be moving to the redeveloped center of Lynn Valley.
“There is at least one other tenant I know who will be leaving and if this all comes together, unfortunately Delany will also be leaving. It’s bad enough, ”he said. “It’s not a healthy look. Lynn Valley Village is the soul of Lynn Valley. It is a great place for families.