// Retailers & landlords team up to hold talks with MPs to see if government could fund 50% of commercial rent
// The “Property Bounce Back” grants, they would be targeted at businesses worst affected by coronavirus lockdown
Retailers and landlords have reportedly teamed up to hold talks with MPs about proposals for the government to fund up to half of commercial rent to help ride out the pandemic.
According to The Telegraph, trade bodies have been in talks with ministers about proposals that would see the UK Government fund up to 50 per cent of rent and services charges owed by businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Known as the “Property Bounce Back” grants, they would be targeted at businesses worst affected by coronavirus lockdown that started March 23 and started being lifted from June 15.
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It comes as amid reports that £3 billion worth of commercial rent could be unpaid for the six month period to September.
“Without urgent action on rents, many otherwise viable businesses are, through no fault of their own, at imminent risk of failure,” read a joint statement by the British Retail Consortium, British Property Federation, UK Hospitality, ukactive and Revo.
“Where both landlord and tenant are able to cover at least 50 per cent of the rent owed, and are able to demonstrate they are working together as economic partners, government should have the confidence to invest in these businesses’ futures and prevent the needless loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
A government spokesman said: “We recognise the huge challenges being faced by commercial tenants and landlords during this period, which is why we’re working closely with them to ensure they are supported and would urge both landlords and tenants to follow the example of others and find solutions that work for both parties.
“The government has taken unprecedented action to protect jobs and livelihoods, with a package of around £160 billion of support, including loans, rates relief and grants for businesses to support them through the pandemic.”