Govt likely to pay third of rent for entrepreneurs

The state is likely to pay at least a third of rent for entrepreneurs who lease their premises and had to close them because of the coronavirus pandemic and the measure would cover a period of March 12 to June 30, Prime Minister Andrej Babis told server.

One third of the rent would be paid by the lessor, a third by the lessee and a third by the state, Babis said.

Shopping centres might be eligible for the aid as well as pubs, small shops and hairdressers, for example. The opposition was talking about the payment of part of the costs of entrepreneurs hit by the crisis earlier. The state would provide some money if the tenant and the lessor agree on a rent discount, Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek told the server. Entrepreneurs who had to shut down their premises because of the anti-coronavirus measures should get the aid, he said.

The cabinet is going to discuss this proposal next week, on May 11 at the latest, Havlicek said.

Under the government's plan of restarting the economy, May 11 is a day on which shopping centres are due to reopen. Havlicek told the server the state could provide more money, up to a half of the rent. But the plan has to be adopted by the cabinet. Should the state cover a third of the rent, the budget would lose Kc3bn, and if a half of the rent were covered, the shortfall would reach Kc4bn. Havlicek later tweeted that he would submit a plan to the cabinet on Monday according to which the state would pay 50 percent of the rent, the lessor 30 percent and the lessee 20 percent.

In discussion programme on public broadcaster Czech Television, Havlicek said covering part of the rent by the government should concern all the entrepreneurs who were affected by the anti-coronavirus measures and had to pay rents including those running an e-shop or using a pass-through to sell their goods. Jan Rafaj, vice-president of the Confederation of Industry, called on the government on Twitter to approve the proposal for 50 percent payments. The aid might help up to 150,000 businesses, he said in a press release today. Rent payments would help restaurants and cafes. Every third business might nor survive the crisis, Petr Jonak, board member at the Confederation, said referring to the latest estimates.

"Such aid would give a chance to most businesses to survive and, what's more, not to dismiss staff," said Tomas Prouza, president of the Confederation of Commerce and Tourism. TOP 09 opposition party proposed previously that the state should cover 100 percent of the rent for those who had to close their premises and 80 percent for those who limited their operations. TOP 09 chairwoman Marketa Adamova tweeted that the party would endorse the government's proposal. The legislation that was passed recently makes it possible for the firms in question to pay their rent for a period of March 12 to June 30 until the end of this year.

Source: ČTK

section Aktuálně