THE Chamber of Commerce has disagreed with the government’s decision to stop BEAT COVID rental discounts for businesses after this month.
Chamber leaders will now meet with the Chief Minister on April 14 to try to do extend the rental relief until the end of June.
It follows the government’s announcement of the latest BEAT COVID measures announced on April 8-9.
“Members’ businesses across several sectors continue to struggle due to the severe effects of two lockdowns and very few tourists,” said a Chamber of Commerce spokesperson.
“For these reasons our members have not been able to rebuild their financial reserves over the last 12 months.
“Every form of assistance, from subsidised wages to discounts on rents are critical to ensure that these businesses remain open and people’s jobs are retained until business conditions improve.”
The Chamber believes that with businesses making around 40-50% of normal profits, it would be unfair for landlords to get the full 100% of the premises rental.
“It is only fair for the burden of the negative economic impact of this pandemic to be shared between the landlord and the tenant,” said the Chamber.
The business group would like to see rental discounts extended until June 30 along with all the other measures presented in the Chief Minister’s public speech on April 8.
These measures include 30% of normal income being paid to businesses for April, 20% for May and 10% for June.
Until June 2021, wholesale, retail, hotel, bar and restaurant sectors will get not have to pay rates.
Other sectors will be able to get a 25% discount when they pay their rates early.
All businesses can apply for a government-backed loan, won’t need to pay official fees and more time to pay debts.
In his COVID-19 speech on April 8, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo spoke of the amount of new air connections with the UK that could bring more tourists