More urban shops may get food licenses: Economic Affairs Min.

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It will become easier for entrepreneurs to open catering facilities in their shops once a new proposal from Economics Affairs Minister Henk Kamp is put in place. The relaxed regulation is part of several measures aimed at reducing the large amount of unused retail space on the market, the Ministry of Economic Affairs revealed.

The ministry reached an agreement with twelve different municipalities to run an experiment reducing regulations on certain shopkeepers and landlords. The move makes it easier for business owners to introduce catering facilities in their stores. It is expected to make shopping districts more vibrant and attractive to consumers, the ministry said.

Currently, 7.5 percent of existing shop space in the Netherlands is empty, and up to 30% of the area in stores is unused. In order to tackle the problem, the ministry reached agreements with 50 municipalities meant to give shopkeepers an opportunity to reduce the rental rates. Instead of basing rents on historical value, landlords and retailers have agreed to apply market-based rent pricing.