9 November 2021

This update covers:

  • New laws and code to resolve remaining COVID-19 commercial rent debts
  • Kickstart Scheme
  • New campaign to 'Stop COVID-19 hanging around’
  • £46 million from new fund to support skills and business in Wales
  • FSB calls on government to help small firms go green after survey shows most have no plan to act
  • Commercial debt helpline
  • COVID-19 Guidance

New laws and code to resolve remaining COVID-19 commercial rent debts

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be introducing the Commercial Rents (Coronavirus) Bill, to resolve the remaining commercial rent debts accrued due to the pandemic.

Commercial tenants are protected from eviction until 25 March 2022, thanks to government action last year to provide firms with breathing space and help protect jobs when certain businesses had to close in full or in part during the pandemic. This provides time for landlords and tenants to negotiate how to share the cost of commercial rent debts caused by the pandemic.

To align with the legislation, the Government is also issuing a Notice on County Court Judgements (CCJs), High Court Judgements (HCJs) and bankruptcy petitions that are issued against tenants in relation to rent arrears accrued during the pandemic.

These laws apply to commercial rent debts accrued by businesses that were mandated to close, either in full or in part, from March 2020 until the date restrictions were lifted for their sector. Debts accrued at other times will not be in scope.

For those businesses in scope, legislation establishes a legally binding arbitration process for commercial landlords and tenants who have not already reached an agreement. The arbitration process will follow the principles set out in the revised Code of Practice.

The result of the arbitration process will be a legally binding agreement that the landlord and tenant must adhere to, resolving rent disputes and helping the market return to normal as quickly as possible.

The Code of Practice applies across the UK. The legislation will apply to England and Wales, with a delegated power for Northern Ireland. Scotland has adopted an alternative approach to commercial evictions since the start of the pandemic, due to different property legislation and market conditions.

Read full details

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month job placements for young people.

See for further details.

If you've been offered Kickstart Scheme funding, you can use these resources to show your support for the scheme. Updated on 4 November 2021 with '5 tips to fill your Kickstart vacancy swiftly and successfully' document.

New campaign to 'Stop COVID-19 hanging around

A new campaign launches on Friday, 5 November, across digital channels, radio stations and newspapers, demonstrating the importance of simple ventilation techniques to reduce the risks of catching COVID-19 this winter.

As part of a wider campaign, including national radio and press adverts, the key message will be to ‘Stop COVID-19 hanging around’. The film clearly shows the difference in airflow and airborne particle movement when indoors in relation to COVID-19.

Read for full details

£46 million from new fund to support skills and business in Wales

More than 160 projects across Wales will receive a share of more than £46m to help people into work, boost productivity and deliver net zero.
The Community Renewal Fund will pilot new programmes that invest in people, boost skills and support local business – to build more communities that people are proud to call home.  

Read for further details

FSB calls on government to help small firms go green after survey shows most have no plan to act

According to a new survey, two-thirds of small firms have no active plan to reduce their impact on the environment, with many arguing they should receive tax breaks, grants, or low-interest loans to help them go green.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) report – issued to coincide with the COP26 conference – reveals that most small business owners accept there is a climate crisis.

Read full report

Commercial debt helpline

Are you feeling isolated & unable to talk to your family about what is worrying you? Are you feeling tired, under pressure or depressed? This pressure can have a significant effect on your emotional and physical health. You are not alone.

The NHBF free commercial debt helpline is operated by Cromwell Seymour Group Ltd who have over 20 years of experience within the insolvency industry and offer a personal touch. Their experience of supporting more than 500 clients through pre-& post insolvency procedures ranks them among the UK’s top debt recovery advisors.

Click for further details


COVID-19 guidance

Read our four nations’ FAQs which include links to the latest government guidance that must be followed.

Members can call our membership team, Monday-Friday, 9-5, on 01234 831965. Please be patient due to the extremely high level of calls we are currently getting.

For legal advice, Members can login to get our 24/7 legal helpline number. Again, please be patient. The legal team is also dealing with a considerable number of calls.