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How to Get Through COVID-19 as a Business Tenant

All communities are made up of small, medium and large businesses. The identity of those communities and their vitality is directly linked to this diverse mix of businesses. All of our communities are navigating uncharted waters right now. With federal, state, and municipal governments discussing how to move forward with as little disruption to businesses and the economy as possible, it’s hard to keep track of all of the assistance that might be available. Here are some options that you have as a tenant during COVID-19.

Stay transparent with your landlord
This is a scary time for everyone, and it’s better to air out your concerns and see how you can continue to work together, than to suffer in silence. Remember, there are humans on both ends of things, so if you feel like things like rent abatement, reduction, or an extension on your lease would be helpful, consider reaching out to your landlord to open the discussion.

Look at your liquidity
Take a look at your various assets. If you can, evaluate your financials and determine which assets are liquidable right now. It can be difficult, but eventually, business will return, and when it does, you’ll certainly be rewarded by your community for staying around and fighting to survive. The truth is that no one knows how long this could all last. You’ll want to be around when it does end, however.

Talk to vendors
Keep communication lines open. You can see how other businesses are dealing with the COVID crisis and take some inspiration from them, or even share some of your own tactics as well. By chatting with your vendors, you can negotiate a deal that would benefit both of you- whether that’s deferred payments, an extended contract, or more, let them know how they can best help you, and offer to help them the best that you can.

Let your customers know how they can help
Just the same as keeping your communication open to vendors, now is the time that your customers and loyal clients need to hear from you. Let them know what measures you’re taking to combat the virus. Maybe that means working from home, closing your doors, and being extra vigilant when cleaning. Most importantly, let them know that you’re there for them when times are good, and that you might need their help now that times are looking a bit grim. Many businesses are offering gift cards so that there is some cash flow, and a promise to return to the business once all of this is over.

Go mobile
If you can, continue with your operations in a limited capacity. You might be able to offer take-out, delivery, or online services that will keep your customers satiated. Get creative with it! There are likely many avenues that you didn’t realize would be valuable or even doable- and likely, your loyal customers are missing you. Of course, keep the personal health of yourself and employees at the top of mind.