Polish government has approved a draft reduction in rents for the tenants in shopping centers
The Council of Ministers has adopted a project assuming a reduction in rent for shopping center tenants during the lockdown by 80%, extending the deadlines for the implementation of tourist vouchers for another year, and the possibility of canceling the repayment of aid granted under the anti-crisis shield, the Ministry announced Development, Labor and Technology (MRPiT).
These changes are included in the draft amendment to the Act on special solutions related to the prevention, prevention and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and the crisis situations caused by them.
"We have prepared support for entrepreneurs who, as a result of the closure of schools and shopping malls, had a significantly limited ability to conduct business, and yet did not use the existing aid solutions, because the system of PKD codes describing the nature of their activities does not cover them" - said the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Development, work and technology Jarosław Gowin.
According to the proposed regulations, for the period of closing shopping malls with an area of more than 2,000 sq m, the rent for tenants will be reduced by 80%, and for 3 months after the ban on business activity is lifted - by 50%.
If it is proved that the scale of the reduction is unjustified, the landlords and tenants would have the right to take advantage of court control and determine a rent value other than that provided for in the provision. Support is also to be granted in all subsequent periods of a possible trade ban and it is to apply to lease agreements concluded before the date of the introduction of the epidemic threat, i.e. March 14, 2020.
The draft also contains provisions on tourist services. It is planned to extend it to two years (one year so far), the possibility of using a tourist voucher for a tourist event canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, starting from the day on which the tourist event was to take place. The proposed regulations also provide for the postponement of the date of starting the return of payments to the Tourist Reimbursement Fund by tourism organizers. The repayment of the first installment will be extended until the end of December this year.
"These are very important and expected by the tourism industry updates, which adapt the legal provisions to the protracted pandemic, which significantly contributes to limiting the possibilities for tourism entrepreneurs organizing tourist events" - said Deputy Minister of Development, Labor and Technology Andrzej Gut-Mostowy .
The proposed solutions assume that the staroste, ex officio or at the request of the entrepreneur, will be able to cancel the repayment in whole or in part, postpone the deadline, and install certain receivables (including unduly received money under the forms of support provided by poviat labor offices from anti-crisis).
Currently, most entrepreneurs who use support instruments meet the basic conditions regarding the obligation to run a business or keep employees in employment for the period covered by the subsidy.
However, there are no regulations regarding the payment in installments, redemption or postponement of payment dates in special situations, e.g. death or other sudden random events. Such matters require individual approach and consideration. Thanks to the planned amendment, it will be possible to apply potential reliefs in the repayment of receivables in special situations.
In addition, the project also includes provisions on support for people running school shops. The aid would apply to entrepreneurs running a business consisting in the sale of food, paper and stationery products for students, students or pupils in educational units, marked according to the Polish Classification of Activities (PKD) with codes 47.11.Z and 47.19.Z.
School shops would have to receive help in the form of:
- exemptions from paying social security contributions,
- co-financing of employees' salaries,
- parking benefits,
- small subsidies up to 5,000 PLN.
According to the planned regulation, the basic criterion for receiving aid would be to demonstrate 40% decrease in revenues recorded in the relevant settlement period from November 2020 to March 2021, as well as conducting specific business activities as of September 30, 2020.
In order to obtain support, the entrepreneur would have to submit a declaration that he had a written certificate issued by the director of the educational unit that he was bound for at least 14 days in the month in which the decrease in revenues occurred, and which month is the "basis" for submitting a given application, by agreement lease of space intended for business purposes.
The certificate would not have to be attached to the application, possible verification of its possession may take place post-factum, during the inspection.
The amendment is also intended to authorize the Council of Ministers to issue regulations extending aid instruments for school shops in the future.