As the NABMA “Support for Markets” Survey heads towards its closing date, feedback already received from some 200 markets across the UK, shows the headline message is clear – “Market operators are fully supporting their local traders”.
Despite some claims that the majority of operators were charging rent, the NABMA survey to date has established that over 90% of operators, and many since the lockdown on 23 March, are charging no rents or have totally suspended all trader payments.
Further operator support for traders is also evident with assistance to provide delivery facilities, click and collect services, social distancing and setting up on line trading. Some operators are also helping their traders with advice and guidance on claiming business support from government.
NABMA Chief Executive, David Preston said – “we are delighted with the initial number of survey returns that are spelling out the critical financial impact of the pandemic on our markets and the threat to their survival if government support for operators, as well as traders, is not forthcoming. What is clear, and must be applauded, is the way that many operators, their market staff and their traders are together, wherever possible, going that extra mile to keep markets open. In the majority of cases, the evidence from our survey confirms that rents are not being collected, and the only priorities are to keep local small businesses safely trading, the local food chain moving and to support local communities”.
As a reminder the NABMA Support Plan for Markets, endorsed by NMTF, has five priority areas. They are
- Support for Traders and Small Businesses
- A Business Interruption Compensation Scheme – reflecting “lost rents”
- Market Start Back Grant Scheme – to get markets back up and running again
- Business Rates – 100% relief for all markets
- A national support programme to restore markets and market trading
NABMA Chief Executive, David Preston stressed “So far the survey returns provide a strong message to take to government. We can strengthen this by more markets completing the survey. If you cannot answer all the questions then please just provide what information you can. The more markets we can include in our evidence base, the louder our collective voice will be.”
The NABMA survey is open until 27 April.