Dear Landlord,

We’ve been in this mutually-beneficial relationship for a long time, perhaps decades. It’s been good for both of us. We’ve had a place to grow successful local businesses and you’ve made a nice profit.

Now our businesses have an illness called a pandemic. It makes people sick and is sometimes fatal. To help curb this, we have been forced to shut down for an extended period of time. Even now, as we might partially reopen on a curbside and delivery basis, we struggle with the health and safety of employees and customers in addition to all the concerns of a dwindling bank account, federal and local assistance being slow to none, and the unknown future. We’ve had to reinvent ourselves in 10 days just to garner what little bit of business we can. As many in our community look at the numbers of diagnosed illnesses and fatalities of our citizens, we are also looking at the local business fatalities that aren’t included on the daily charts.

We’re intrepid entrepreneurs. So we try to plan for the future. A future that we hope includes you as our landlord. But we need some consideration here. Let’s revisit that mutually beneficial relationship. Work with us. Give us a few months of free or deferred rent. It could be a lifeline to save our business.

For local landlords working with their local business tenants, thank you. This will come back to you in loyal tenants for years.

For those landlords reluctant to give consideration, assess the effects of helping a local business tenant go bankrupt. Finding a new tenant is costly in the best of times, now it’s going to be very expensive because there will be no business expansion for some time to come. We’re all in survival mode. Your space will likely remain vacant for a year or more. What is the cost of that compared to offering a little assistance now?

We recognize that landlords are in business too, some small, some large. You, too, can apply for SBA loans. You, too, can furlough your employees so they can receive unemployment. This is not business as usual. That won’t return for some time. It will return to normal but who knows when? That’s what we all want. But normal means a community filled with thriving local businesses with successful landlords.

We’ve heard from many fronts that we’re all in this together. It’s true. Together means we help each other. If your heart and soul can’t make this leap, look to your bank account. It makes financial sense to work with your current tenant. Reach out to your tenant today and you’ll have a successful relationship for years to come.

Most Sincerely,
Local Business

Originally published by AIBA

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