Property owner tells restaurants not to pay rent — pay staff instead
With cities requiring non-essential businesses to close during coronavirus, some workers are without pay or jobs. In an effort to help a few local restaurants, one investment group is telling its tenants to skip the rent and pay their staff instead.
The company, Young Investment Company in Arkansas, owns several buildings occupied by restaurants, and announced on Facebook that it won't expect rent from those businesses in April. "We ask that you use this money instead to pay your employees and take care of your family. Stay strong. We will get through this together!" Young Investment Company wrote. CBS News has reached out for more information.
Young Investment also owns apartments, office spaces and other commercial spaces for lease in the Jonesboro, Arkansas area. Its announcement follows a trend of other local businesses giving people a break in payment during the coronavirus.
Nathan Nichols, a landlord in South Portland, Maine, said he won't collect rent from his tenants because of the coronavirus. A group of some of the largest landlords in New York City will also halt evictions for three months, according to Crain's New York Business.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a moratorium on evictions for renters and asked city attorneys to look into stopping commercial evictions.
An estimated 4 million U.S. restaurant workers face the risk of layoffs, but there are several other hourly and freelance workers that may go without pay, too.
Theater and arena workers, hairstylists, fitness instructors, babysitters and other small business owners are among those who could lose income. Groups that represent these industries, including the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, several artists guilds and the Cinema Worker Solidarity Fund, have set up relief funds for workers.
Relief isn't just coming from the private sector. In Italy, where 60 million people are on lockdown, the government is giving homeowners a break on their mortgage payments.
In the U.S. President Trump announced he and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are working on a "big" and "bold" legislative package to address the coronavirus crisis. That includes "looking at sending checks to Americans immediately," Mnuchin announced Tuesday.
Mnuchin said the goal would be to get checks to Americans in two weeks to help workers cope with the economic effects of the crisis. The president wouldn't say exactly how much those checks might be — Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Mitt Romney have suggested $1,000 per adult.
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