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Chamber to discuss Covid discount on commercial rents with Govt

Pic: Eyleen Gomez

The Chamber of Commerce announced it is set to discuss discounts for commercial rents with the Gibraltar Government as it said several sectors continue to struggle due to the severe effects of lockdown.
The Chamber welcomed the Gibraltar Government’s extended BEAT measures until the end of June, and will discuss discounts on April 14.
The Chamber yesterday released a statement seeking clarification on discounts on commercial rents after the Government last week said there will be no rental reductions on Government-owned or private-owned properties after May 1.
It said that it had announced measures on April 8 that will apply for the whole of the second quarter with the exception of discounts for commercial rents.
“As the Chamber recognised in its statement, members’ businesses across several sectors continue to struggle due to the severe effects of two lockdowns and very few tourists,” the Chamber said in the statement.
“For these reasons our members have not been able to rebuild their financial reserves over the last 12 months.”
“Whilst some local businesses have managed to show signs of improved trading in the last month or so, for many, business levels remain thin at best and there is little prospect of tourists returning in significant numbers until later on in the summer.”
“Therefore 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.”
“It makes no sense for Landlords to receive 100% of rent in a scenario where most affected businesses are operating with a turnover of 40% to 50% compared to like periods in previous years. It is only fair for the burden of the negative economic impact of this pandemic to be shared between the Landlord and the Tenant.”
The Chamber of Commerce said it has engaged with Government on the issue of rental discounts and has made representations for these to be extended until June 30 in line with other BEAT measures.
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, after which the Chamber will issue another statement.

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