Colliers International has launched a free helpdesk to provide London’s independent restaurant, retail, and leisure companies with specialist real estate advice during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those who may not have easy access to the high level professional advice available to the bigger firms.
The helpdesk will also offer guidance to landlords and is due to be rolled out nationwide at a later stage.
Josh Leon, head of central London restaurants at Colliers International, commented: “Many of London’s defining and most loved businesses are small independents run by brave, passionate and driven entrepreneurs and many of these are now at great risk. These businesses do not have big cash reserves and the financial support on offer is proving hard to access. It is a daily struggle for them. Their landlords are facing difficult decisions too. We must do all we can to help this sector or the true cost to London is hard to imagine. We hope that by offering to be on the end of the phone with some free professional guidance on some of these issues it might at least be helpful to some. The future of London’s global appeal and the speed with which we collectively bounce back as a city will depend on the steps entrepreneurs and landlords take now.”
The Colliers’ panel of property experts will be on hand daily to provide support to occupiers and landlords, helping them to look at their options and offer property-related guidance where possible.
The helpdesk’s experts aim to answer questions in the following areas:
– General property strategy
– Lease and rent renegotiations
– Insolvency and restructuring
– Business rates
– Deferring or cancelling payments
– Debt advice and Government assistance schemes
Colliers’ co-head of Retail, Paul Souber added: “With the enforced (non-essential) shop closures the retail industry is facing an unprecedented challenge, unlike any other in living memory.
“Customers are the oxygen of a store and without them, retailers can’t survive so it’s vital that we protect this industry to prevent the collapse of the sector altogether. Swift and drastic action to support the whole eco system of suppliers, retailers and landlords, is required.”
For further information about Colliers’ helpdesk and to receive advice, go to https://bit.ly/2yrBGBV , fill out the brief form on the website and the team will respond swiftly with a call back or invitation to join a group discussion.