Mapping entrepreneurs’ problems and needs
We conducted a survey to map the problems and needs of entrepreneurs, prepared a set of needs and submitted it to the government.
Around 400 entrepreneurs participated in the survey. The city government gathered the responses and forwarded them to the government on 20 March with proposals regarding the measures the government is planning to take in cooperation with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, the Unemployment Insurance Fund and Kredex.
We gathered the most important information for entrepreneurs on the Covid-19 crisis measures in one place.
Rent exemption for city’s commercial premises
As a landlord, the city government applies a rent exemption for up to one month for tenants of city-owned commercial premises (companies) as the first mitigating measure if:
- City-owned commercial premises are used to provide services that necessitate many people being on the premises at once (e.g. restaurants and shops) or involve immediate and unavoidable physical contact with clients (e.g. beauty and personal services).
- Entrepreneurs must temporarily suspend serving clients at their place of business during the rent exemption period. Catering companies are allowed to sell takeaway food.
We will continue to map and analyse the situation of the tenants of the city’s commercial premises and plan additional rent exemptions in order to cope with the situation.
Since the city government wants the tenants of the city’s commercial premises to cope with the state of emergency and is interested in them continuing their activities on these premises, the city government takes additional support measures as a landlord to reduce the negative economic effect of the state of emergency:
- All tenants of the city’s commercial premises are exempt from paying one month’s rent between 15 April and 15 May 2020.
- In the following period, we will consider supporting tenants with a partial rent exemption in cases where tenants have economic trouble with re-starting their businesses. The percentage of the exemption is decided on a case-by-case basis based on explanations submitted by tenants, cost-benefit calculations and other relevant information.
Postponing payment of overdue rent and waiving interest on late payment
In order to reduce the negative effect of the spread of coronavirus on the economy, we are ready to:
- postpone the payment of overdue rent on commercial premises belonging to the city of Tartu for up to one year;
- stop charging interest on late payment in relation to lease contracts of the city’s commercial premises for six months starting from 28 March 2020.
Supporting outdoor media companies
Since the outdoor media market is currently out of business, we will not charge outdoor media companies rent for city land under advertising carriers in April and May 2020. We will also not demand that they illuminate advertising carriers in Q2 of this year or pay for the electricity used from the city’s electrical grid.
Reimbursing catering costs of schools in Tartu
We want to support the companies that cater schools in Tartu during the closure of schools due to the state of emergency. Therefore, we will not issue utility bills (heating, surveillance and waste management) to companies who offer catering services to schools in Tartu for the period during which they are not providing catering services in school kitchens.
Ensuring public transport
Ensuring operation of public transport is vital for the functioning of the city and its entrepreneurs.
We disinfect buses at the end of each run and use longer buses where possible so that people are able to maintain distance. In order to ensure the safety of bus drivers, passengers cannot purchase tickets from the driver or exit via the first door.
Bike share bikes are disinfected every time the technician visits the station.
Support is not reclaimed
If an undertaking or event was postponed due to the state of emergency, the decision on awarding support remains valid. If an undertaking or event was cancelled, we will cover the expenses already made.
We continue to pay capitation fees
We will continue to pay capitation fees to sports clubs, regardless of how successfully they have been able to implement e-learning and e-training.
We are reasonable partners
We are reasonable partners and do not rush to sanction every single breach of agreement. We understand that the state of emergency affects us all and are trying to find flexible solutions and be accommodating.
We pay invoices faster
Tartu City Government has previously paid invoices on the due date. During the state of emergency, we will try to pay invoices as soon as possible in order to ensure circulating capital for our partners.