Many minority-owned businesses are still behind on rent payments


With the warmer weather and the opening of vaccination eligibility, more and more people are inclined to dine out. And there is some optimism in the restaurant industry, at least among the restaurants still in operation.

A new poll Alignable, which tracks small businesses, shows that the number of restaurants that didn’t pay rent in April fell to 35% from 63% the month before. But the data also shows that minority business owners are still lagging behind.

There are several ways restaurants can protect their businesses when they are strapped for cash, by reducing the menu or reducing staff. But rent is a must.

“Seeing increased capacity to pay rent is definitely a big data point,” said Alex Susskind, director of the Cornell Institute of Food and Beverage Management. “It shows that things are going for the best.”

Susskind attributes most of the improvement to vaccines and to people who feel more comfortable dining out, because when you dine in person, you eat and drink more.

“And it’s more margin for the operators, it’s higher control averages for the operators,” he said. “And these are things they need to get back to normal.”

For minority business owners, the return to normal is still a long way off. More than half have not been able to pay rent this month.

Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said that unfortunately did not surprise her. She said immigrant business owners in San Francisco struggled to understand information about PPP loans and had less access to banks to file applications. And now the minorities the train in vaccination rates, an essential element of keeping businesses in business.

Thomas said some business owners feared they would have to disclose their immigration status to get vaccinated. “We worked with the city to make sure people didn’t have to have a US passport or driver’s license.”

Geetika Agrawal of La Cocina, a restaurant incubator that works with women of color, said part of the delay in taking over minority business owners was cultural.

“I have to tell you how hard it was for most contractors to feel comfortable having to tell their landlord that they can’t pay rent,” Agrawal said, or having to ask for a rebate. of rent. “They don’t have the luxury of trying to risk missing out on rent. And so it is difficult. It’s a different kind of privilege than someone else might be used to knowing that society will let them fail and catch up with them.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act, can capture more. In its first 21 days, the program will prioritize businesses owned by women, veterans, and those who are socially or economically disadvantaged.

What do vaccines mean for economic recovery?

COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, say expert witnesses who testified in a recent hearing organized by the Joint Economic Committee. Simply put, we cannot eradicate the virus because it infects other species, and there will also be people who choose not to be vaccinated or not to mount an immune response, according to Dr. Celine Gounder of the NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital. “This means we can’t just rely on vaccination,” Gounder said. She said the four phases of pandemic recovery end the emergency, relax mitigation measures, achieve herd immunity and have long-term control.

Can companies deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccination passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins to reopen, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of the vaccine passport has raised ethical questions on data privacy and potential discrimination against unvaccinated people. However, legal experts say companies have the right to deny entry to those who cannot present evidence.

What should I know about tax season this year?

Glad you asked! We have a whole other FAQ section on this. Some quick results: the deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Additionally, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 – of which up to $ 10,200 will now be tax-free for those with adjusted gross income below $ 150,000. And, for those who filed before the US bailout was passed, in layman’s terms, you don’t need to file an amended return just yet. Find the answers to the rest of your questions here.

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