Got a favourite little coffee stand at your local Tube station? TfL is lending them a helping hand.
It’s easy to forget that Transport for London doesn’t just run the Tubes, buses, trams, and river services across the capital, but that they’re also a landlord for thousands of small businesses too. All shops, cafes, and stalls that operate within TfL stations – be they flower stalls or corner shops – pay rent to TfL in order to do trade, which means they’re particularly susceptible to the current fall in passenger numbers. Happily though, the powers that be at TfL have announced a three-month rent freeze for these places, to help them ride out the coronavirus outbreak.
From March 25th, all small and medium businesses on TfL property – from stations to railway arches – will get 100% rent relief for three months. It’s a move that benefits some 86% of TfL’s tenants (the remaining 14% are franchises of bigger businesses better equipped to survive the slowdown), and should hopefully lessen the financial burden on their owners. Additionally, any businesses in the 40 Tube stations that were closed this week will also be given 100% rent relief.
A statement, issued yesterday, also noted that “TfL is also suspending any ongoing negotiations on rent reviews and lease renewals and will give existing tenants longer to pay any rent outstanding.” Quite aside from the public health crisis, the coronavirus outbreak also threatens to do damage to the UK economy, so any steps to help mitigate that should be applauded. Nice work, TfL.
In other news, all London pubs, bars, and restaurants have been ordered to shut to help contain the spread of the virus.
Also published on Medium.