Thursday, July 30, 2020

SOS: Local business owners discuss their COVID-19-related rent challenges



Save Our Storefronts (SOS), a coalition of East Village merchants and community members, is calling on New York State to enact commercial rent relief.

In this video, released yesterday, local business owners document the challenges they are facing with commercial rents during the COVID-19 pandemic...



Visit www.saveourstorefronts.nyc for more information on the campaign, including the petition that's in circulation.

Assemblymember Harvey Epstein and State Sen. Brad Hoylman are drafting a bill on commercial rent relief legislation, which they plan to introduce soon, to help create a path to small business and nonprofit recovery based on sharing the burden of the crisis.

According to a Hospitality Alliance survey, only 19 percent of New York City businesses paid June rent and only 26 percent of landlords waived any rent.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a reduction in property taxes? Water/Sewer electricity and property taxes go up like clockwork. With most tenants not paying a big corp with many properties can weather the storm but mom and pop building owners need the rent money to pay their mortgages and to stay afloat as well. It seems the plan is for the big boys to swallow what's left of the mom and pop owners which will lead to an even bigger demise of small businesses in the neighborhood. Once that is done palms will be greased in city hall to get the hood rezoned and more 10-20 story glass and steel generic condo buildings will crop up.

Anonymous said...

The video is heartbreaking. I patronize almost all of the featured businesses, but it's obviously not enough. We can't let an entire community die.

DrGecko said...

I live in a co-op with some retail tenants in our storefronts. We want to support them, but the government is botching this very seriously.

We're not eligible for any relief on our building's mortgage. Worse, property taxes cost us more than all other building expenses put together, and the state is talking about raising them in order to help plug the budget gap. Cuomo won't even consider raising taxes on the billionaires whose taxes were cut just a few years ago.

Bloomberg could plug the budget gap easily and still be the 3rd richest man in the country.

EVVC NYC said...

Thank you for sharing this!! ❤️

Anthony Donovan said...

Yes Anonymous, a reduction in all that would be helpful too. It's not either/or at all. Thank you.

We're urgently advocating a genuine action we see will take the least amount of time to pass, and will be immediately, most helpful in stopping the severe bleeding. It's triage time.
Dealing with the RENT of Small Business's, fairly, is by far the majority of Small Businesses greatest burden and challenge.

It's all much too late for too many who've already closed, and with July 31st upon us.... tomorrow! A deadline where, many have run out of cash and can't keep their doors open, staff paid.
What we are calling for is a Shared responsibility. A sharing of the burden upon us. And a shared solution.

It's been over two months of advocating. With NY State Senator Brad H entering just over a week ago we have a better chance with this, the language and terms, and clarity on the dates.

The legislation is covering from March 7th, 2020 through 180 days after the emergency orders are lifted.

Small Business's will have to pay 20 % of their Revenue, or 1/3 of their obligated lease, whichever is LOWER. 20% of zero when closed equals zero.

The very few smaller landlords who've been responsive, communicative with their tenants, understanding of the greater picture (a pandemic!), and lenient, need rewarding and a shout out of a thank you. The state helps them as well.

Too many in real estate have been short sighted and simply, irresponsible to any semblance of "community". It's because of their inaction and the states inaction that we have this catastrophic loss, not their blame of a virus, to be intractable. It's the lack of leadership response to this genuine emergency.

The State due to their mandated shutdown needs to step up immediately (yesterday) to the tragic consequences of their action, and help level the field with a shared solution.
Deep thanks to both Brad and Harvey for stepping up to the plate to do this.
Harvey said in yesterdays press conference "soon".
Brad said "This week."

Please support them, and this great help for those businesses hanging on by a thread. Please stay with us, and thank you so much for doing all you can to serve, to protect and to keep our neighborhoods community.

Each hour, each day delayed ... Small Businesses, our life blood, our safety, our community, our jobs, our reliable sources of financing both NY State and NY City, are being forced to close.
We can change this if we act swiftly.

Updated info will be at: https://saveourstorefronts.nyc

Please sign the petition and share with all. Let them know there's a little hope coming.

Let your NY State reps know what it means to you and yours, and to support this legislation.

Theactual introduction of the bill, it's identifying #, and it's call out to all Reps around NY State, will be any day now.

You're saving lives here. Deep gratitude.

And, EV Grieve! Thank you so much for being there, and this coverage!

Anthony Donovan said...

Yes Anonymous, and DrGecko, a reduction in all that (esp Property taxes)would be helpful too. It's not either/or at all. Thank you. This is one most critical urgent focus, needed immediatly for many thousands of shops.

We're urgently advocating a genuine action we see will take the least amount of time to pass, and will be immediately, most helpful in stopping the severe bleeding. It's triage time.
Dealing with the RENT of Small Business's, fairly, is by far the majority of Small Businesses greatest burden and challenge.

It's all much too late for too many who've already closed, and with July 31st upon us.... tomorrow! A deadline where, many have run out of cash and can't keep their doors open, staff paid.
What we are calling for is a Shared responsibility. A sharing of the burden upon us. And a shared solution.

It's been over two months of advocating. With NY State Senator Brad H entering just over a week ago we have a better chance with this, the language and terms, and clarity on the dates.

The legislation is covering from March 7th, 2020 through 180 days after the emergency orders are lifted.

Small Business's will have to pay 20 % of their Revenue, or 1/3 of their obligated lease, whichever is LOWER. 20% of zero when closed equals zero.

The very few smaller landlords who've been responsive, communicative with their tenants, understanding of the greater picture (a pandemic!), and lenient, need rewarding and a shout out of a thank you. The state helps them as well.

Too many in real estate have been short sighted and simply, irresponsible to any semblance of "community". It's because of their inaction and the states inaction that we have this catastrophic loss, not their blame of a virus, to be intractable. It's the lack of leadership response to this genuine emergency.

The State due to their mandated shutdown needs to step up immediately (yesterday) to the tragic consequences of their action, and help level the field with a shared solution.
Deep thanks to both Brad and Harvey for stepping up to the plate to do this.
Harvey said in yesterdays press conference "soon".
Brad said "This week."

Please support them, and this great help for those businesses hanging on by a thread. Please stay with us, and thank you so much for doing all you can to serve, to protect and to keep our neighborhoods community.

Each hour, each day delayed ... Small Businesses, our life blood, our safety, our community, our jobs, our reliable sources of financing both NY State and NY City, are being forced to close.
We can change this if we act swiftly.

Updated info will be at: https://saveourstorefronts.nyc

Please sign the petition and share with all. Let them know there's a little hope coming.

Let your NY State reps know what it means to you and yours, and to support this legislation.

Theactual introduction of the bill, it's identifying #, and it's call out to all Reps around NY State, will be any day now.

You're saving lives here. Deep gratitude.

And, EV Grieve! Thank you so much for being there, and this coverage!

Anonymous said...

This is not rocket science, and I suspect that these businesses have fairly decent claims under their leases to not pay rent. They were denied access to the premises, which could no longer be used for its intended purpose, and that risk is usually allocated to the landlord. But as one can see from the comments, everyone is looking for a bailout (coops can't exist with tenants not paying rent, tenants can't exist with paying rent). While I love many of these businesses and will do all I can to support them, there is not likely enough manna from heaven to cure all of those ills. And, all of the great opponents of government bailouts suddenly become ardent fans when it is them, their coop or favored business getting taxpayer bailouts, rather than steel companies or auto companies that employed entire regions, or banks that employed 5% of america. Politics is a funny game. It can be bent however suits the moment.

DrGecko said...

@anon 11:47

The banks needed a bailout because of their own malfeasance and massive criminality. They were made whole and the criminals weren't prosecuted because, as Attorney General Holder said, they were essential.

The auto companies also needed a bailout because of malfeasance, but in this case the government bought them out, replaced the directors, and then took them private again.

Now, small businesses are going under through no fault of their own. It's evil to conflate these with the criminals who run the banks or the bumblers who ran the auto companies.

The government has an infinite amount of money to shower on people. The only risk of "printing" too much is spooking the bond markets due to fear of inflation, but they're doing fine. Inflation is at record low levels. Nobody has even suggested any other plausible problem here.

As you say, politics is a funny game. The Republicans love showering money on people who are already rich, but suddenly become deficit hawks when it comes to helping people who actually need help - and, not so incidentally, whose help would benefit the economy. (Poor people spend money, increasing economic activity; rich people squirrel a lot of their money away in gambling pools - hedge funds - removing it from the economy.)