JEONJU, Feb. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — The Jeonju Hanok Village, located in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province and visited by more than 10 million people every year, is the source of a feel-good story that has offered a respite to those weary from coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 64 landlords in the village and neighboring traditional markets have decided to cut monthly rent for tenants whose businesses are struggling financially due to the prolonged economic slump and the recent coronavirus outbreak.
Local communities and even South Korean President Moon Jae-in lauded the generosity, gaining nationwide attention.
Last Friday, the city of Jeonju and the landlords released the ‘Proclamation of Coexistence’ vowing to cut 10 percent of monthly rent for more than 3 months in consideration of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Some landlords were willing to cut rent by as much as 20 percent.
“We’ve been convincing our fellow landlord members for more than a year to overcome these difficult times together, and pave the way for the future growth of Jeonju Hanok Village,” said Han Kwang-su, 70, president of the Jeonju Hanok Village Supporters Consortium who spearheaded the coexistence initiative.
“I’ve been disappointed to see how the Hanok Village turned into a place of making money,” said Han, who owns two buildings in the village.
“I wanted to make my share of contribution to protect the tradition, value, and identity that is the Jeonju Hanok Village,” he said.
President Moon posted on Facebook on Sunday, saying that the initiative will “greatly contribute to overcoming shrinking consumption and sales, and the drag on the local economy caused by Covid-19.”
“A big round of applause to Jeonju and its citizens,” he added.
Tenants also expressed their gratitude.
“The landlord cut 20 percent of our monthly rent a month before the coexistence agreement, which has helped us a lot,” said Kang Ik-soon, 60, the owner of a local restaurant. “I am grateful to learn that we have to stick together in tough times.”
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)