Small firms in trouble

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Small firms at risk as landlords refuse to compromiseBusiness bosses have warned that their firms are at risk because landlords are unwilling to negotiate on rent. Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, has urged ministers to consider measures to protect small companies that are close to collapse “because their rent is too high and landlords won’t compromise”. Mr Cherry, who says many small firms have long leases, argues that it is “wrong for otherwise-viable small businesses to go under just because they’re tied into paying high rents that their landlords would not be able to charge new tenants in the current climate”. Meanwhile, Labour MP Stella Creasy has told Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick that she has received complaints about landlords taking public subsidy for their own businesses while continuing to charge their tenants full rent. Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, argues that a number of small landlords who rely on property as their only or main source of income are being put at risk by “large, well-capitalised tenants who are refusing to meet their rental obligations”.

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