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Commercial rent relief ‘urgently needed’ says HBAA

HBAA chair Lex Butler calls for the government to help commercial renters.

“With payments and commission being unacceptably withheld, Government funding delayed until June and loans payments slow, it looks as if, as I feared, that too many events industry businesses are in danger of not surviving this crisis,” said Butler.

Lex Butler

“Landlords have support giving a verified three month mortgage holiday but there’s nothing legislated for commercial renters, only the promise that they can’t be evicted in the next three months. This impacts on both agencies and venues which rent premises.

“A period of three months’ rent relief would make all the difference to hundreds of organisations whose cash flow is currently in a perilous state.”

However, the HBAA has welcomed the Chancellor’s recent announcement that lenders can’t request personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and that conference and exhibition venues are specifically listed in a Government paper covering Business Rates Relief Along.

In partnership with the Business Travel Association (BTA), the HBAA is still pushing to have business and events agencies who work from offices as opposed to high street premises recognised as part of the leisure and hospitality sector and therefore be entitled to the business grants of £10,000 to £25,000 related to Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) and rateable values.

“But there is still no financial provision for people in this and other industries who work through limited companies and we support the Institute of Directors (IoD) and The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) who are among the organisations lobbying for this.

“We are committed to supporting our members by campaigning for collaboration for due payments not to be withheld and we are working closely with the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) in pressing the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) for recognition and fair treatment for the £70 billion UK events industry.”

HBAA is contributing to thewith financial support by extending the membership year to end of 2020, effectively giving all members three free months instead of asking for renewal fees in October. It has already been arranging webinars to provide essential advice and support and more will follow shortly.

“If agencies and venues were legally granted three months’ rent relief, then their landlords would be much more likely to have a long term tenant when the upturn begins. We want HBAA and this industry to be #futurefit and this would make a vital contribution to achieving that.”

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