Rent Relief for Small Businesses
We are facing the catastrophic loss of thousands of small and micro businesses, the economic and social cornerstones of our communities.
New York is on PAUSE, but the bills have not paused. The rent has not paused. NOTHING has paused except our ability to survive. Without rent relief, untold numbers of storefronts will shutter. For good. Communities will lose vast numbers of jobs, essential services, vitality and more.
We will lose the very fabric of our city.
We are urging our representatives to pass legislation that encourages cooperation between landlords and small businesses, and ensures we share in this hardship together.
We are asking for immediate and comprehensive RENT RELIEF. Specifically: the mandated forgiveness of commercial rent for small businesses shuttered by the PAUSE order, and fair percentage-rate rent based on revenue for a one-year period after the state of emergency is lifted and we are allowed to fully operate.
Without relief, the landscape of New York City will be changed fundamentally. And forever.
Please join us in calling for emergency legislation that:
- forgives commercial rent for businesses that have been shuttered or adversely impacted by the PAUSE order for the duration of the state of emergency;
- establishes a hardship fund or other forms of relief for small landlords and commercial properties owned and maintained by coops or non-profit housing providers;
- institutes a fair percentage-rate rent based on revenue for a one-year period after the state of emergency is lifted. There is a precedent for the percentage-rent model, as malls around the country have been charging percentage rent based on revenue for decades. A fair percentage rent model will ensure the burden of this hardship is shared across the board while we rebuild our city together.
- establishes a vacancy tax, so that landlords will be incentivized to work with their existing tenants, and our neighborhoods can be spared empty / boarded-up storefronts. A vacancy tax will further work to build revenue, thus offsetting the cost of a landlord hardship fund, the projected loss of RE tax escalation revenue, and the loss of sales tax revenue due to the PAUSE order.
- supports local merchant organizing and non-profit legal services providers that have been stepping up amid significant increases in demand for their services and assistance.
New York State cannot in one breath take away our right to operate and in the next say we are on our own in this recovery.
By delaying action on commercial rent relief, you protect the most powerful corporate landlords and chains, leaving behind millions of hard-working, honest, community-building and socially-conscious small business owners and employees.
Please help us fight to save the fabric of the city and state you love.