The Government asks for 18 million Swiss francs towards rental fees for business premises

08/05/2020 (19:05)
Press release
Government

The Government has presented Parliament with a proposal today on the allocation of financial aid to lessors of business premises. It is applying for a supplementary loan of 18 million Swiss francs. The aim is to support Basel-Stadt businesses affected by the coronavirus.

According to the proposal, the canton will reimburse one third of the rent to lessors who have agreed with their tenants to reduce their rent by at least two thirds of the net rent whilst emergency measures are in place. This means that the lessor, tenant and canton would each be responsible for paying one third of the original rent. This would apply to net monthly rent payments of up to a maximum of 20,000 Swiss francs, making the canton’s contribution a maximum of 6,700 Swiss francs per month in each case. (see also the press release dated 21 April 2020, https://www.coronavirus.bs.ch/en/newsticker-en/21.04.2020-1400-kantonale-mietzinsbeitraege-fuer-geschaeftsraeume.html).

To qualify for this aid, the tenant must not dismiss any of his employees on economic grounds or continue to employ them under less favourable terms. Lessors will be entitled to make a claim until the Federal Council ceases its measures to protect against the coronavirus, but not for more than the three months of April, May and June 2020. This measure will take effect retrospectively from 1 April 2020. If, at a later date, the Federal Councils were to decide to grant federal contributions to alleviate the burden on tenants, these would be credited to the cantonal contributions.

With the attendance of a majority, i.e. two thirds of its members, Parliament may implement laws and decisions with immediate effect if their entry into force cannot be delayed. The Government asks Parliament to acknowledge the urgency of the matter and allow it to enter into force with immediate effect. In the current situation, many companies and sole traders are dependent on support and relief.

In its recommendation, the Government asks that Beat Leuthardt (GB) and Andreas Zappalà (FDP) write off the motion as completed regarding the “rental aid for small businesses in Basel (three-thirds emergency package)”.

Recommendation to Parliament