Small Business Owners ‘Permanently Close’ to Demand COVID Relief
Local small business groups, along with the Cooper Square Committee, East Village Community Coalition, and Village Preservation are hosting a rally today in the name of economic survival. It’s part of a statewide week of activism to find commercial rent relief in the city.
With that, businesses who fear forever closure due to rent burdens during the pandemic, will be placing “Permanently Closed” signs on their storefronts – a symbol of their struggle and to show what’s at stake if the State does not step up to assist.
These groups will also ask state legislators to support Senate Bill 3349/Assembly Bill 3190, which would assist in covering rent for businesses and nonprofits that lost income due to COVID-19. Under the bill, the commercial tenant, property owner, and State government would share the burden of the rent shortfall. Certified COVID-19 affected commercial tenants would have to pay the lesser of 20% of their actual income, or 1/3 of their rent; property owners would have to forgive 20% of the rent; and the State—using Federal or State funds—would pay the remainder.
However, it is unclear as to what criteria determines a “certified COVID-19 affected business.”