Retailers need a 50% rent amnesty to meet the costs of Covid, industry representatives will tell TDs and Senators today.

delegation of the industrial group Retail Excellence is scheduled to appear today before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Business, Trade and Employment.

As the sector has undergone the longest confinement in Europe, the organization will seek support for a Rent amnesty of 50pc for the first four months of 2021, insisting that some owners such as large financial institutions or pension funds would be able to absorb these losses without too much negative effects.

Earlier this week, the Family Business Network argued that landlords who give rent relief to businesses affected by Covid should be given tax relief to absorb the money lost.

Retail Excellence has said non-essential retailers are on a “financial cliff” after more than a year of forced shutdowns in the wake of Covid-19.

Hundreds of businesses will now struggle to pay fixed costs, such as rent, as they resume trading, the lobby group said.

Additional support will also be required from TDs to enable them to switch to online sales.

Retail Excellence chief executive Duncan Graham said the industry had been hit hard since the start of Covid-19, with many companies unable to pay rent.

“We are already seeing vacancy rates of up to 30% in what have always been our busiest main streets, and we know there were 2,000 more commercial outlets at the end of 2020 than there are. there were at the same time the year before. Businesses that still face a monumental – and in many cases, impossible – challenge in terms of meeting their rental obligations. “

He said a rent amnesty would be invaluable to retailers and help landlords in the long run.

He said he hoped that restrictions on the hospitality industry would be lifted soon, especially for cafes and cafes that have a close relationship with the retail sector.

“Our cities are places where people should want to live and shop as well as work, and if anything, this pandemic has shown that we need to invest in these places to survive and thrive. We have a huge job ahead of us to rejuvenate our cities and downtowns, ”Graham said.