Many of our tenants’ lives and livelihoods have been severely impacted by COVID-19. As lockdown restrictions start to ease, some businesses, particularly those that are not allowed to open, will continue to require support.
For the next three months, The Arch Company will build on the approach we took in the last quarter, providing financial support to independent small businesses most severely affected. As we said at the start, we want as many as possible of the diverse and independent SMEs that are the heart of the arches to be able to survive through the crisis.
Throughout the next quarter, any independent small businesses that are banned from opening by government guidance will continue to receive a rent-free until such time as they are allowed to open.
We also appreciate that even if a business has been permitted to open again, it may still be facing adverse trading conditions. Independent small businesses that are able to open, but still severely affected by COVID-19, will get July rent-free. For August and September, they will have the option of drawing down deposit funds, if available, to cover half the rent. If no deposits are available then half the rent can be deferred instead.
The support will be assessed monthly, and tenants will need to pay half the rent for August and September. Tenants who require further support to pay rent in August or September for any reason should contact The Arch Company via the Coronavirus Support Unit.
Deposits and deferrals will not need to be replaced or paid back until June 2021 and will not be subject to interest during this twelve month period.
Our Coronavirus Support Unit will continue to provide guidance on accessing government and local authority financial help, in addition to supporting businesses with questions and protocols on the easing of restrictions and restarting their businesses.
Over 1,100 small independent businesses have so far benefitted from a three-month rent-free period, announced after the UK lockdown began at the end of March.
Adam Dakin, Managing Director of The Arch Company, said:
“Our priority is to ensure our diverse and independent tenant base survives the crisis.
We will continue the approach we took in this quarter – targeting financial support, including rent-free periods, discounts, deferrals and the ability to draw down deposit funds, for the small independent businesses who need it most, and helping all tenants access government support.
Many of our businesses had to stop trading altogether at the end of March. A number are now opening up, with more to follow, but many clearly won’t be trading normally for some time and still require some support with rent if they are to survive the crisis.”
The application form for this new support is available on our Coronavirus Support Unit page.