Community-led regeneration group Hoylake Vision is calling on landlords of business premises to consider giving tenants immediate rent breaks as the coronavirus crisis hits the fortunes of the high street.
Formed in 2012, the organisation developed Hoylake’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) in consultation with the local community.
In a statement , its management group writes that there are actions that could be taken locally to mitigate the effects of the economic threat resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
They will be asking Wirral Council to work closely with them in helping existing businesses return, as well as supporting new businesses to start once the current crisis begins to abate.
The statement reads: “In the short term, Hoylake Vision would like to suggest that landlords of business premises offer tenants a rent break with immediate effect, if they are in a position to do so, until the current situation has passed.
“These are exceptional times and more than ever we need to do what we can to support the economy, protect jobs and livelihoods. These businesses are closing their doors selflessly, for the safety of their staff and of the wider community.
“In the longer term, we would like formally to call on Wirral Council to work with us in supporting a fast track planning system for local high street premises and businesses, as soon as the worst of this has passed.
“When that time comes, we will need to be prepared to support existing businesses to get back on their feet as quickly as possible, but also to support entrepreneurs in the setting up of new businesses. This is likely to mean supporting planning applications for changes of use of existing premises.
“If it is clear that those planning applications will lead to future economic and environmental sustainability, with more jobs, a broad and balanced range of products and services, while protecting residential amenity, the management group of Hoylake Vision believe the forum, and the wider community, should support them.”
Businesses including pubs, cafes and restaurants were ordered by the Prime Minister to close their doors last Friday evening to help stop the spread of the virus.
The government has already announced a number of measures to support companies, including:
- Covering 80 per cent of wages of staff kept on by employers (up to £2.k per month)
- Statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
- A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
- Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- Deferring VAT payments by companies until the end of June
- Interest free cash grants to small businesses
In asking for people’s comments to help plot the way forward, the statement by Hoylake Vision concludes: “Our thoughts are with all those local businesses who are finding current events difficult.
“Right now, and especially once we are through the other side of this, “shopping local” will be the best way to re-energise those businesses and build the economy back up as quickly as possible.”
People can email firstname.lastname@example.org with thoughts, ideas and suggestions.