A local corporate coalition leads a national commercial rental survey in December to complement ongoing state surveys and better illustrate the direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hawaii and the U. . S.. .
The first National Commercial Rent Survey, an extension of the Hawaii Commercial Rent Survey, will begin in December. 1 and run through December. 18, said Ryan Tanaka, President of Island Business Management, to be part of a nationwide conversation.
« Small businesses are the economic foundation and backbone of many communities across the country, including Hawaii. This kind of detailed research and data to understand the impact on the business world is invaluable, « Tanaka said in a press release. “Hawaii is a microcosm of how businesses across the country are feeling, and while there is no silver bullet solution, additional data and insight can help Congress make better decisions about how to help businesses revitalize the economy in the future. ”
Tanaka organized the surveys with support from the State Department of Economics, Development, and Tourism and more than a dozen companies and trade groups, including the Hawaii Retailers and the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce. The national survey is the third to be carried out after two national surveys were carried out in the summer and fall.
DBEDT will manage the national survey which, in partnership with the Seattle-based Center for Housing Economics, will reach mainland markets. NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association, is also a survey partner.
Tanaka first launched the polls to support lobbying for a commercial landlord-tenant grant program that uses government coronavirus aid funds to help Hawaiian businesses cover their commercial rent during the pandemic.
Honolulu City Council passed a resolution in September that aims to give businesses rent relief through a landlord grant program. Although Honolulu commercial property owners would apply for the grants, the funds would go to their tenants in the form of rent relief, according to Tanaka, who is part of a corporate coalition campaigning for the grants.
However, despite the approval of the resolution, no program has been implemented and the coalition hopes that commercial rent relief will be considered in the next round of stimulus programs under consideration by Congress.
« To survive, these companies need a financial lifeline, » Tanaka said. “Landowners would be more willing to work with them if they got some sort of rent relief during these lockdowns. ”
The results of the second survey in October showed that even more companies in Hawaii were suffering financially from the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and that many had to reduce their workforce and lay off employees.
>> Three out of ten companies expect to miss three full rental payments between October and December this year.
>> Tourism accounts for at least a quarter of the total turnover of 42% of the companies.
>> 86% of companies expect their annual sales to decrease this year and 82% expect a decrease in 2021
Tanaka said while time is running out, many businesses can still be saved through commercial rent relief. When 5% of companies have restructured their leases, 95% of the contracts are pending and could be worked out, he said.
« There isn’t much help out there for commercial property owners right now, but they are a big part of the framework for economic recovery, » he said in the press release. “Even if it’s November, our program could be activated in two phases. The first part will now be used with a smaller tranche of CARES Act funds, followed by additional support in the New Year. However, time is running out and we can expect more business closings if we don’t do anything now to keep the businesses alive. ”
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