Additional measures needed on rent and rates

Thursday, 9 April 2020
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today said the closure of Debenhams reflects the pressure on vast swathes of the retail sector at this time. The group said that without additional government supports, many more businesses that are closed temporarily will not reopen and many thousands of jobs will be lost.

Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon said: “There is now an urgent need for central government funding for local authorities so they can put in place a six-month commercial rates exemption for affected retailers, along with a further facility for a six-month payment deferral.

“When it comes to rents, a great many retailers will simply not be in a financial position to pay over the coming months. A binding mandatory arbitration process to manage disputes over commercial leases is required. This should include a facility for State burden-sharing and short-term eviction protection.

“Without the implementation of further support measures for vulnerable businesses, the road to recovery from the crisis will be longer and more expensive for the economy as a whole.”