The British Independent Retailers Association is pleased the Government has agreed to extend its rent moratorium to March next year.
The extension follows extensive lobbying from Bira, which met with Small Business Minister Paul Scully to discuss the rent moratorium and other issues impacting indie retailers last month.
Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “The extension to the rent moratorium and the ring-fencing of debt is another campaigning success for Bira.
“It is obvious that retailers with rent debt incurred during the closure periods need further protection and more time as they look to re-build their businesses. At the end of the extended period, there will be binding arbitration to resolve any outstanding disputes – another Bira request.
“While the extension is good news, we still await some important details to fully brief our members. We are keen to ensure that there are no loopholes for landlords to exploit.
“Finally, our message to retailers is that it is vital that rent is paid if you are trading. Any debt incurred while open will not be protected so it is impotent for retailers and landlords to sit down and find a practical solution to addressing the debt.”
The rent moratorium was due to expire on June 30 and will now run until March 25 next year for the businesses ‘most in need’.
Most pet shop remained open during the lockdowns ¬ – although many were on reduced hours – as they were classed as key retailers, but the majority of groomers were closed for much of the time.