Over 200 British landlords and tenants have come together for an initiative called ‘The Big Freeze’ to help businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Big Freeze is a portfolio of proposed measures for the government to consider during the Covid-19 pandemic, along with the other measures that have been put into place in the UK. The Big Freeze proposes that ‘all financial commitments to banks in terms of mortgages, loans and financial agreements be frozen, without effect on any current covenants or balances in terms of interest. Commitments will be reinstated once the crisis period ends’ and ‘during this period no debt will be accrued’.

In a statement, the NTIA and British landlords said: “The issue facing us all, is that not enough consideration has been given to the issue of Commercial Loans, Mortgages and financial support.

“The Night Time Industries and the broader hospitality sector, along with retail, travel and tourism industries are facing a life or death situation right now, with an unprecedented level of business interruption, enforced by the government to protect public health.

“We as representatives of British businesses including bars, clubs, restaurants, retail and tourism and landlords implore the government to implement ‘The Big Freeze.’”

The statement went on to say that ‘The Big Freeze’ will give landlords the financial freedom to allow tenants to get back to business after this period of economic hibernation, ensuring that those in the nighttime and live event industries will survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

The statement continued: “We know that the British public will support mechanisms that will see our society through this crisis, without further devastation through the intransigence of the banking and the financial sector.

“We shall also instigate a review of insurance underwriting as a part of this for the future too. 

“We invite the Prime Minister & The Chancellor to adopt The Big Freeze as a matter of the utmost national urgency immediately.”

Mike Kill, CEO, Night Time Industries Association, said: “It is fantastic news to receive such unprecedented support from so many Landlords & Tenants across the UK, in such uncertain times. We are of course, all in this together which is why The NTIA and many British Landlords are asking the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to adopt The Big Freeze urgently. While the government has come an enormous distance at the very difficult time, we run the risk of losing a huge amount of our businesses who cannot afford and often do not qualify for further debt in addition to their losses due to the Covid-19 shutdown.  Landlords and Tenants are all businesses that UK Plc relies upon. This is now urgent.”

John James, MD, Soho Estates, said: “As one of London’s largest landlords in an area of high concentration, we at Soho Estates have been around long enough to have seen several recessions. This is different. We know that for many tenants, things are enormously difficult currently. That is why we are supporting The Big Freeze. As Landlords, we are a keen Stakeholder and part of the community. We know that we must avoid a situation of empty high streets at all costs. We as landlords also have financial commitments as do our tenants. The Big Freeze is a smart solution for all.”