August 21, 2020

Trade Bodies Calling For Property Bounceback Grant

Leading trade bodies from across the UK have called upon the UK government for funding of up to 50 per cent of retail rents and services charges with a new Property Bounceback Grant.

According to Big Hospitality, the British Property Federation (BPF), British Retail Consortium (BRC), Revo, ukactive and UKHospitality jointly called on the government for the grant to help negotiations between landlords and tenants.

The proposition states that the government would invest in the short term to support businesses and landlords, who under the coronavirus restrictions were forced to close their premises, for a long term economic, employment, and social gain.

The trade bodies, who represent both landlords and tenants, said the grant would cost an estimated £1.75 billion but would secure 375,000 jobs, and £7 billion in savings for the government in the first 12 months.

Key features of the new grant would include:

• Government grants of up to 50 per cent of rent and service charges between March and September

• Grants would be conditional on agreement by the landlord and tenant to account for the remaining 50 per cent of the rent and service charges through the Government’s Code of Practice.

• Eligibility for businesses in hospitality, leisure and retail – all sectors that have been disproportionately hit by the crisis and have already seen increasing rates of administration and redundancies

• Focused on those businesses that were closed for the longest and unable to generate revenue

The proposal hopes to solve the rent crisis within the retail sector brought about by the coronavirus, say the trade bodies, highlighting that the enforced closures have left many businesses with little or no revenue and means of paying rent, which for some companies has become an insurmountable level of debt.

The associations warned that without financial support from the government, both tenants and landlords face the very real risk of business failure, hundreds of thousands of job losses, and long-lasting damage to high streets across the UK.

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