Moscow landlords can apply for grants - targeted payouts - that offset property tax and other costs. Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy and Property and Land Relations Vladimir Efimov told Business FM this and more.
Summer verandas of restaurants are opened in Moscow from June 16. What scale will it take? Maybe there are cafes that didn't have verandas, but they made them on purpose?
- If we talk about summer verandas, the scheme of their placement was approved in advance. This scheme in Moscow is currently including about 3,000 verandas, which had the opportunity from June 1 to prepare for the opening.
Any restaurant can't take tables outside. It had to be done in advance.
- Of course. Entrepreneurs submit applications in advance in order to consider non-interference with pedestrians, transport and other restrictions present in certain areas of the city.
About grants. Owners of commercial premises can now apply for grants. Are you expecting many such applications or maybe you have already received many of them once the campaign had started?
- In total, we have 6,500 organizations that can apply for related grants. The most important term is to give your tenants at least a 50%-discount of the rent rate. We expect that we have made the procedure as transparent as possible, and the vast majority of owners will apply for a related discount, a related grant.
During these three months, during the pandemic, we received a lot of letters - just an incredible amount - mostly from owners of small businesses in Moscow, who could not get support for various reasons. In particular, they complained that they could not get a referral from landlords, who were the owners on behalf of the Moscow government. Is there any progress being achieved in this direction?
- If we talk about the Moscow Government and those premises that we rent out as a city, we did not just give a discount, we put the rent rate down to zero for our tenants being on the list of affected businesses. The total amount of our benefit granted is about RUR 7 bn. No appeals to our Moscow eEconomy Support Center - we have received 8,000+ appeals during this period - deal with any difficulties in obtaining benefits from the city.
If to speak in general and, maybe, to sum up some preliminary results. How do you basically estimate the damage to the Moscow economy by the pandemic?
- We expected a growth of about 3%. Now we see that we're more likely to have a 5-5.5% drop. This is a significant part of our spending. Let me remind you that our budget spending slightly exceeds RUR 3 tn. Therefore, the losses are, of course, significant, but we can see that the economy is recovering very quickly, and due to the fact that the Moscow economy is highly diversified, each industry is a kind of locomotive now - in the period of recovery.
How long will it take for the economy to recover and return to the normal state?
- If we talk about a full-fledged, normal course and an economic recovery exclusively in the context of pandemic, I think that a couple of months will be enough. If we talk in general about the economic recovery to the pre-crisis level - because we should not forget that, in addition to the restrictions associated with the spread of coronavirus infection, we see changes in global markets related to the changes in oil prices, to a reduced consumption of oil products and the overall level of consumption in the global market - then I think that the recovery will be quite long.