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Ganna Koryagina, Operations Leader of Ceetrus Ukraine. Credit: Ceetrus

Ukraine: On the collective letter to the authorities from the developers of malls

Representatives of the shopping and entertainment mall development industry addressed a collective open letter to the authorities to initiate an urgently needed dialogue regarding consolidation of actions.

This letter combines two essential areas–preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and taking measures to revive business for the sake of the economic well-being of the state after the quarantine is over.

Shopping and entertainment centers and businesses represented in malls are among the biggest taxpayers. However, today, they are most affected by the quarantine measures, because, given the responsibility and gravity of the situation, visitors’ access to the mall is limited. Developers have faithfully and promptly implemented the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 211 of 11.03.2020 “On preventing the spread of coronavirus in Ukraine”.

In the letter, developers draw attention to seven vectors of cooperation: to ensure compliance with the content of local protocols of the permanent committees of Technogenic and Ecological Safety and Emergency Situation with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine; allow the sale of textile masks in malls; provide public transport for employees of authorized groups of tenants; reduce the amount of VAT and delay the payment of income tax until three months after the quarantine; exemptions from payments for land, real estate tax, and income tax; confirm bank credit suspension; retain the mandatory payment for the operation of malls for tenants.

The collective letter addressed to the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the National Bank of Ukraine, the Kyiv City State Administration, the Ukrainian Bar Association and the European Business Association has been signed by: Ganna Koryagina, Operations Leader of CEETRUS Ukraine, Nataliia Kravets, Commercial Director of Dragon Capital Property Management, Anna Chubotina, General Director of Arricano, Maksym Havrushyn, Chief Operating Officer of the group of companies “Budhaus”, Andrii Brynzylo, General Director of “Novi Biznes Pohliady” (shopping and entertainment center Riviera Shopping City in Odessa), Mykhailo Ibrahimov, “Terkurii-2” (shopping and entertainment center “Podolyany” in Ternopil), Larysa Pervinenko, Chief Operating Officer of “Davento Ukraine” (shopping mall network “Equator”), Ruslan Zemlianskyi, Director of “Smena” (shopping and entertainment center “Hollywood” of Chernihiv) , Liudmila Vilishchuk, Commercial Director of Urban Oasis Center.

“Development companies have carefully considered signing a collective letter. The arguments were the influence of the Ukrainian legislation and its amendments, analytical materials and forecasts of anti-crisis experts, experience of state decisions made in other countries of the world. It is a group of players from one industry that intends to  work together with the authorities to overcome the difficulties, qualitatively resume work after quarantine, pay taxes again, develop the malls’ business and provide consumers with goods and services,” said Anna Chubotina, general director of Arricano.

“Paying service payments during the quarantine is a crucial condition for ensuring the safe and properly organized operation of facilities and the preservation of property. Ceetrus Ukraine supports the collective initiative of real estate developers and operators and emphasizes its importance for the early recovery of the industry, ”said Ganna Koryagina, Operations Leader of Ceetrus Ukraine.

“It is fundamentally important for us to find a mutually beneficial cooperation formula with tenants in order to preserve the business of both the tenant and the lessor in this difficult time. That is why we are appealing to the authorities and expect assistance in addressing such important issues as the payment of operation costs for the malls, tax breaks, and clarification of newly adopted laws,” commented Nataliia Kravets, Commercial Director of Dragon Capital Property Management.