So far the UK Government has rejected extending the moratorium on landlords repossessing shops during the COVID crisis which effects thousands of UK SMEs in the retail sector and could see many of them being forced to close. There is some hope as shopkeepers hope officials will see sense and will continue to lobby the government on this.
UK SME owners are pushing for the Government to extend the three-month moratorium on landlords repossessing retail units as more time is need for the retail sector to recover post-lockdown The Government is still ruling out the extension and it is also not offering any kind of grant to help the local shops and retailers that have been forced to stop trading in lockdown to help cover what’s stipulated in their lease agreements as the debt has only been delayed. The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) has refused again to sign the draft code of conduct drawn up by the Government as they believe it will make no difference to landlord behaviour.
A spokesperson for Nour Cash & Carry in Brixton spoke of their fight to survive saying “This is a community shop, respect the community.” Brixton Market has been home to Nour Cash & Carry for 20+ years. The community relies on affordable groceries, now more than ever. Billionaire landlord Taylor McWilliams, is threatening to evict the business having given them no leaway on rent. They have set up a petition on twitter using the #savenour so please help with their plight. This is just one example of what is happening to UK retail and why the SME club has set up a campaign to protect UK retail and #saveourshops.
Many groups including the SME club are lobbying and hoping for the Government to extend the three-month moratorium on landlords repossessing units and issuing winding up orders. Hopefully most landlords will see sense and not issue winding up orders against small businesses for non-payment, as it is difficult to see how that would benefit either party and would like mean another empty shop which doesn't benefit anyone.