Back to Brick & Mortar
With the City moving to open more and more businesses over time, we thought you would might want to check out this great resource on how to successfully reopen safely and instill confidence in employees and customers. Back to Brick & Mortar Guidebook by Access offers best practices and considerations for businesses, compiled with detailed guidance from experts in public health, real estate strategy, communications, and retail operations.
How to design for re-opening? This model is for a public outdoor market, but contains useful design ideas for brick and mortar too (see guide above for detailed advice).
Speaking of the out-of-doors, interested in outdoor seating for your business? We are too, and advocating the City to create special COVID-19 rules to allow it without with usual variance process on sidewalks, parking lots, etc. Let us know if you’d like to work on particular locations for your business or a group of businesses or help with this effort.
EEOC allows COVID-19 workplace testing, and what this means.
Advocacy on Outdoor Seating
We are tracking and advocating other strategies in conjunction with other business improvement districts to support small businesses, most recently in connection with the gradual reopening of business. Based on what we’d been hearing from restaurants and drinking establishments and the goal of ensuring that the bottom doesn’t fall out completely for the small, we grew concerned for the diverse community of restaurants and drinking establishments that so many of us treasure. We drafted this letter to the Mayor calling for urgency in creating flexible and creative rules for expanded outdoor seating with some 50 restaurants, business districts and industry groups signing on. We ask for the Mayor’s bold leadership on outdoor seating in order to ensure that the re-opening date for restaurants will enable them to take full advantage of the summer season by safety seating customers through an expedited and flexible process. The press picked this up and the Mayor’s office has been receptive.
If you are interested in this and related efforts, please email email@example.com subject line “advocacy”.
Lease & Loan Negotiations
A number of lenders are entertaining loan deferrals, as are landlords re-negotiating leases with short term abatements or concessions in return for an extended term, for example.
Depending on the circumstances, some options include:
- 3 months deferred payment, added to end of lease
- 50% reduction for 3 months
- Interest-only payments, full utilities/CAM fees
- Base rent on reduced revenue-generating square footage (i.e, kitchen only in a restaurant just doing take-out/delivery)
Similarly, property owners and businesses are negotiating with their banks for loan modifications, including:
- Reduced payments
- Interest-only payments
- Loan payment deferrals
Be prepared to demonstrate to your bank how you are being affected by current events and what you’ve done to reduce expenses through salary reductions, staff layoffs, landlord negotiations, vendor and supplier accommodations.
This resource from the Colorado Restaurant Association (but generally applicable to employers in Colorado) goes into the details of unemployment. It includes information on “jobs attached” and “work share” as methods to allow employees to, respectively, more easily collect unemployment compensation but return to payroll, or remain on a reduced payroll while collecting unemployment at the same time. It also has information to share with unemployed employees, and this link has more resources on how they can access a meal. Finally, note the PPP Fact sheet, question 40 regarding loan forgiveness when efforts to rehire are not successful.