The new health rules to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, particularly in the 23 departments placed “under surveillance”, have led to the closure of a large number of stores. However, the latter pay rent … which could be covered by the state. In any case, this is the project the government is thinking about.
Shopping centers: closures are increasing
To avoid a large crowd in closed places while the beautiful days are back, the government has closed the doors of hundreds of shopping centers in France since the end of January 2021. An administrative closure that extends as the pandemic progresses.
Since January 31, 2021, throughout France, all shopping centers of more than 20,000 square meters have been closed, excluding food stores. But a little over a month later, on March 6, 2021, the date of Jean Castex’s last press conference on the pandemic situation to date, this closure was extended: in the 23 departments “under surveillance”, it is the shopping centers of more than 10,000 square meters that are closed, and even those of more than 5,000 square meters in the Pas-de-Calais.
However, the pandemic is not ebbing, nothing says that the government will not yet extend these bans, or place new departments under surveillance.
The rents paid by Bercy?
According to BFM Business, the government seems to be aware of the problem that these closures cause for traders… in terms of rent. Not only can they no longer sell because they are closed, but they still have to pay their rents, which are often very high. These rents should be covered by the State, at a cost of around 500 million euros.
The French government is awaiting the approval of Brussels on this new aid, before confirming it. But it will be retroactive to February 1, 2021, according to BFM Business, and will function as a reimbursement: the tenant pays the lessor and then requests a reimbursement from the State, which will take 100% of the amount, so that the measure covers the costs exactly and is not a simple package that could lead to losers, the rents being very different from one shopping center to another.