Retailers, pubs, restaurants and other businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) will now be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates has announced.
As part of the action Welsh Government is taking to support the business community from the impact of COVID-19 the moratorium against forfeiture for the non-payment of rent, which was due to end on 31 December, will now be extended until 31 March 2021.
While businesses should continue to pay rent wherever possible, the latest measure will ensure no business is forced out of its premises if it misses a payment between now and the end of March 2021. The move will help ease the burden on a range of sectors, including retail and hospitality, at what continues to be a time of immense challenge.
Since the start of the pandemic Welsh Government has put together the most generous package of support for business anywhere in the UK, worth nearly £2 billion. This includes £340 million that is available through the latest round of the Economic Resilience Fund to support businesses affected by restrictions that came into force on 4 December.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates, said:
Despite all of our ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus, instances of the virus remain worryingly high. We recognise that the ongoing restrictions and wider behaviour changes are putting significant pressure on many of our businesses and we are working hard to quickly support our businesses with the most generous support offer for business anywhere in the UK.
As part of that package of support, I am pleased that we are also able to extend measures to prevent forfeiture for the non-payment of rent. This will protect many businesses from eviction and help to secure jobs, safeguard businesses and shield our economy over the critical months to come.
We will continue to put pressure on the UK Government to provide further support as we progress towards a prosperous post-pandemic Wales.
The Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said:
Supporting Welsh businesses whilst balancing the need to protect our most vulnerable and stop the spread of the virus has not been an easy task. Ensuring retailers, pubs, restaurants and other businesses will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021 is just one of the ways we helping our town centres to not just get by but come back better as they safely continue to trade during this challenging time.
Giving our towns a sense of place is more important than ever, and in line with our Transforming Towns agenda we will continue to work collaboratively with partners to build sustainable town centres for the future where businesses can thrive.