The council has introduced a rent deferral scheme to support its commercial tenants as they, like the majority of businesses, face an unprecedented challenge due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is aimed at allowing businesses to manage their cash flow, relieving stress during this unprecedented period and making it easier to meet immediate financial commitments such as paying staff and suppliers and meeting running costs.
The scheme will enable tenants to delay the payment of their rent for three calendar months from 1 April 2020.
The expectation is that the deferred rent payments should be paid in full by 31 March 2021, however we understand that there may be some businesses that require an extension due to hardship and in such circumstances, we will give consideration to special arrangements.
Mayor John Biggs said: “We recognise that this is a time when businesses are facing an unprecedented challenge. As the landlord for a number of commercial properties in the borough, it’s right that we set an example in supporting firms that need our help.
“This rent deferral scheme will provide a cushion to businesses who are experiencing cash flow issues now but feel they will be in a better position to meet those costs in the future.
“For some businesses, however, deferring rent payments may only be delaying inevitable financial challenges. I would urge those businesses to think carefully about whether this scheme is the right option for them and to contact the council, proactively, if they need to raise financial concerns with us.”
Businesses will be eligible to apply for a rent deferral if they meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The premises have been closed in accordance with the government guidance on closing certain businesses and venues.
- The premises have been closed by the council due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The business cannot trade.
- The business has been granted business rates relief as part of the government relief scheme.
- The business is considered micro or SME in accordance with current government guidance.
Posted on Friday 17th April 2020