To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to protect SMEs from eviction as a result of financial difficulties caused by the covid-19 outbreak.
We have been working quickly to support the UK’s businesses through the crisis, providing an initial £330 billion. This has included support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility. This package of support also includes £13 billion of grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).
Government is also deferring Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for the next quarter so businesses will not pay any VAT until the end of June - representing a £30 billion injection into the economy. This is to help support businesses with their cash flows, and support individuals’ employment.
We have also introduced temporary new measures to protect businesses from aggressive forms of rent recovery: we have legislated to enact a moratorium on commercial forfeitures due to non-payment of rent, due to end on 30 June; Statutory demands and winding up petitions issued to commercial tenants will be temporarily voided; and changes have been made to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery.