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UPDATE 1-France boosts lockdown rent relief incentive to help small firms

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PARIS, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The French government will increase a tax credit for landlords who forgo rent payments from small firms during the current coronavirus lockdown, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.

Le Maire said that landlords would be eligible for a 50% tax credit on the value of rent this month they forgo that would have been owed by firms employing less than 250 people.

The measure, announced during a government update on the lockdown, increases the incentive to give commercial tenants a rent holiday from 30% previously.

“I invite all landlords, big and small, to cancel rent due for November and benefit from this 50% tax credit,” Le Maire said.

With many non-essential shops, restaurants and hotels forced to shutter during the lockdown that started Oct. 30, small firms are struggling to meet fixed costs like rent payments. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Marguerita Choy)