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'Nice landlord movement' spreading across S. Korea Updated: 2020-06-05 09:58:42 KST

With small business owners struggling to pay rent amid the COVID-19 pandemic, building owners and property holders are offering rent discounts.
This so-called "nice landlord movement" started in February with group of landlords in Jeonju Hanok Village deciding to reduce their rents, but now has spread nationwide.

"The city of Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do Province, has more than one thousand stores participating in the nice landlord movement."

"I've decided to lower the rent by 10 percent for three months for all five small businesses in the building. I hope this can help the small businesses recover and overcome this COVID-19 crisis."

To encourage more landlords to follow suit, the city of Gwangju says it will cut taxes for the "nice landlords."

"We're planning to provide a 50 percent reduction in national taxes or regional taxes for the landlords who participate in the movement, in the hope that this could help the movement spread."

The Ministry of Interior and Safety says more than 100 regional governments across the nation are providing tax reductions to the "nice landlords."
Banks have also joined in.
The Industrial Bank of Korea, the first bank in the country to participate, has decided to keep the rent of the buildings they own at 70 percent for another 3 months starting June, on top of the 3 months they've already provided.

"We came up with these measures hoping we could help ease the problems small businesses have from declining sales caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, thinking we're all part of one family."

Building owners, regional governments, and banks have all joined together as one to get through this difficult time.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
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