Twenty shopping malls in Estonia have voiced their support to the economic mitigation measures proposed to the government by the Estonian Traders Association.
"It is clear that it would help thousands of shop owners if their fixed cost, that is their rent obligations to their partners, could be reduced for the duration of the period of economic inactivity caused by the emergency situation," the shopping centers said.
"Shopping malls have already begun negotiations with individual tenants regarding temporary changes to their rental agreements, but we will not be able to cover the resulting total expenditure alone. We propose for the government to join us in helping out our merchants," they said.
"We are ready to participate in a work group with the Traders Association and experts of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Affairs at the earliest opportunity to make a joint effort to save small shop owners," the shopping malls' press release reads.
The statement has been signed by the Kristiine, Rocca al Mare, Ülemiste, Viru and Nautica shopping malls, Lasnamäe Centrum, Järve, Solaris, Postimaja Tartu Kaubamaja, Viimsi, Tasku, Kaubamajakas, Port Artur, Mustamäe, Auriga, Arsenal, Pärgi, Jewe and Jõhvi Tsentraal shopping centers.
Due to the emergency situation prompted by the coronavirus outbreak, shopping malls in Estonia have been partially closed from March 27. The only facilities allowed to remain open at shopping centers are food stores, pharmacies, sales outlets of telecommunications companies, bank offices, parcel stations, and stores where technical aids and medical devices issued on the basis of a technical aid card or a medical device card are sold or rented.
The goal of the closure is to bring contacts between people in public spaces to a minimum in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Editor: Helen Wright