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Protection for small shops and commerce with subsidies to get rents down

COVID-19. Incentives of 600 and 1,200 euros for owners who drop rents charged for commercial premises.

In a bid to stop rent costs from hampering the reactivation of local commerce, the City Council is offering subsidies to encourage owners of commercial premises of under 300 square metres to significantly drop the rents they charge tenants over a period of at least six months from the declaration of the state of emergency.

The subsidies are for natural and legal persons who own commercial premises in the city of Barcelona and who significantly drop the rent they charge to tenants operating businesses affected by the declaration of the state of emergency for Covid-19.

In order to boost liquidity for companies and the self-employed as quickly as possible, the subsidy will be paid once applications are provisionally resolved, rather than having to wait for the definitive resolution.

How much are the subsidies?

  • 600 euros for rent reductions of between 25% and 50%.
  • 1,200 euros if the reduction is greater than 50%.
  • An overall budget of 1.5 million euros has been earmarked for the subsidies, which will be awarded according to the order the applications are received in.

Which premises can benefit from the subsidy?

Premises of under 300 square metres used for the following activities:

  • Non-food retail businesses in permanent premises (except chemists)
  • Food services in bars and restaurants etc.
  • Hospitality services
  • Repair services
  • Travel agencies

What are the requisites to qualify for the subsidies?

  • Natural or legal persons.
  • Rent contracts must be from before the state of emergency.
  • The reduction must be applied for at least six months following the declaration of the state of emergency.
  • The subsidy will be calculated based on the total rent paid by the commercial tenant in the six months following the declaration of the state of emergency.

How and where to apply for the subsidy

  • At any municipal registry.
  • Online, using the procedures website.
  • The application period starts on 25 June and lasts two months.

Legal advice service

Besides the package of subsidies, Barcelona Activa’s Business Support Office (OAE) has set up a free legal advice service to help users negotiate temporary changes in rent contracts for commercial premises.

Operated in collaboration with the Barcelona Bar Association (ICAB), the service is intended to reach solutions which are workable for owners and tenants alike, given the complexity of the current situation.

If the two parties can’t reach an agreement, the OAE will offer to help find new premises so that the business activity can be maintained.

Barcelona never stops

The rent subsidies for commercial premises come in addition to other initiatives under way to boost economic activity in the city since the state of emergency was decreed. These include:

  • Extensions to terrace space for bars and restaurants.
  • Reduction of 75% on the terrace tax.
  • Possibility of opening up space on pavements for the rest of commercial establishments.
  • Subsidy of 300 euros for the self-employed to cover 100% of their base rate for tax and social security contributions.
  • Creation of a fund with 25 million euros to help economic sectors in the city.
  • Postponement of rent for municipally owned premises.
  • Postponement and reduction of other tax payments.