Eighty-seven of ILT's 606 workforce will be made redundant after staff restructuring due to Covid-19 impacting the hospitality sector.
ILT chief executive Chris Ramsay said the business was unable to retain its full quota of staff in the current economic environment.
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According to its website ILT, which was formerly known as Invercargill Licensing Trust and has a monopoly on the development of premises licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages in Invercargill, operates more than 20 businesses in the hospitality sector.
Ramsay said with recovery predicted to take a significant amount of time, the overall commercial sustainability of the organisation was paramount.
"It was a relief to reach the point where our restaurants and bars are able to trade but even at alert level 2 the restrictions imposed do seriously impede our ability to do so profitably," he said.
"We know people are hurting from this decision and the sudden downturn in the hospitality and tourism industries – we're not immune to that. Trust me, we feel it personally and professionally," he said.
The decision to restructure, following a consultation process, came with a lot of angst, he said.
"To be faced with this reality has been confronting and an incredibly difficult process for everyone involved.
"But as challenging as this situation is, I can honestly say our staff and team managers have worked through this consultation period with the highest degree of professionalism which speaks volumes about the calibre of people involved.
"Our focus from the outset of this pandemic has been to protect our ILT team and we've explored every possible scenario to try and save jobs. Unfortunately, the impact of Covid-19 on both the hospitality and tourism sectors – the very two we are reliant on for survival – has been catastrophic."
"These are extraordinary times and, like so many other businesses in our community, we are doing our best to navigate our way through them. Recovery will take time and we remain committed to the future so we will have the opportunity to expand our team of great people once again.''