Leaseholders at the cliffs shops in Aquinnah will pay no rent this summer, the town selectmen decided this week.

Selectmen voted to forgive the rent on all six leases at the cliffs, given the current business climate in the pandemic. Ordinarily the shops near the historic Gay Head Cliffs and lighthouse cliffs are a beehive of tourists from July through September.

“The volume of people is going to drop off dramatically, there will be less buses, less vans and less people around I believe,” selectman Gary Haley said at a meeting Friday morning.

“And it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better,” added selectman Jim Newman.

Selectman Juli Vanderhoop, who owns a home bakery business and operates a shop at the cliffs, did not attend the meeting. Ms. Vanderhoop was re-elected to her third term at the annual town election earlier in the week.

In other business Friday, selectmen also approved a hiring freeze at the suggestion of town administrator Jeffrey Madison. “In light of the reduced budget and level-funding we are trying to achieve, I think it’s something worth considering,” Mr. Madison said.

Mr. Madison also reported the new beach parking arrangements at the head of Moshup Trail are gong smoothly. The lot reached the 50-car maximum but had room to fit more and still meet social distance standards, so Mr. Madison said he authorized another 20 cars in the lot.

The new system at Philbin Beach, which is restricted to town residents, is also going well, Mr. Madison said.

In the annual reorganization of the board, Mr. Newman was elected chairman.

— Aaron Wilson