By Christopher Morgan
A landlord that operates buildings under railway arches has announced that they will suspend rent for businesses in Yorkshire.
The Arch Company, a landlord for over 200 business across Yorkshire, will offer a three-month rent break for independent small businesses severely affected by COVID-19.
This includes business in Huddersfield and Kirklees such as the ones on Viaduct Street, that have been forced to close in the wake of the Government Lockdown.
The firm said that businesses that have been severely affected were immediately offered three-month rent deferrals last week to help stave off closure in the immediate future.
The London-based company also announced a Hardship Fund of £10 million pounds last Wednesday, which will be used to cover the costs.
Adam Dakin, Managing Director of The Arch Company, said:
“Our tenants have been severely affected by the Coronavirus crisis, with many of them having to shut down completely for the next few weeks.
“We have been closely assessing the situation, which is changing day by day, to ensure help is most effectively targeted to businesses that need it most. And we have listened to our tenants through hundreds of individual phone calls with them.”
He added that though he believes the government has acted quickly and boldly to protect jobs, there is still uncertainty about how small businesses are expected to cover other costs that come from not trading for the next few months.
“The uncertainty about what support will arrive and when, means that without our help now, many of our businesses simply won’t survive until that point,” he said.
“The diverse mix of independent businesses that make up the arches have a special place in each local community, and it would be tragic to lose that because of the economic crisis created by Coronavirus. We want to help ensure that the dynamic SMEs that are the heart of the arches are still there at the end of the crisis.
“We continue to work with our tenants and other stakeholders as we keep this situation under review and assess what are the most effective next steps to support The Arch Company tenants.”
The company has compiled a list of measures in place to help tenants through the Coronavirus crisis:
- Three-month rent deferrals
- Switching from quarterly to monthly rental payments for the next six months and to apply deposits to the payment of rent, at a tenant’s request
- Help in accessing government financial assistance through the Coronavirus Support Unit
- Rent review negotiations to be postponed for six months at a tenant’s request
- Tenants with leases expiring to be offered tenancies at will until the end of September
- Suspension of bailiff actions and evictions due to non-payment of rent for the next three months
- Deferrals considered on historic debts, including back rent
The firm has also set up a Coronavirus Support Unit to tenants access the government’s financial support for businesses https://www.thearchco.com/existing-tenants/coronavirus-support-unit/