This week, the Council of DC introduced a revised Fiscal Year 2022 budget that includes a new $40 million Small Business Rent Relief Program. This program would award grants to restaurants and bars, as well as retail establishments, physically located in the District equal to 1/3 of the business’s past-due rent for the 1 year period of April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021. The business owner would be required to pay 1/3 of the rent, and the landlord would certify that they are forgiving 1/3 of the past due rent. Review text starting on page 360.
As currently written, the plan would be limited to only those spots:
- Open since December 1, 2018 (temporarily closed during pandemic still eligible)
- For-profit, brick & mortar, with 2020 revenue of no more than $5 million
- In good standing with DC Tax/Revenue
- 50% decrease in revenue for any April 2020-March 2021 3 month period compared to 2019.
- With lease extended at least until end of 2023
- Did not receive SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grants
- Can demonstrate that they will pay 1/3 of the past due rent for that one year
Any businesses that did not receive PPP loans would be prioritized first. Because the fiscal year does not start until October 1st, no funds would be awarded until then.
This is similar (though less generous) than a plan put forward by Mark Lee of the D.C. Nightlife Council.
Some thoughts: I think it’s smart to focus on the businesses who didn’t win the RRF lottery that was stupidly crafted by Congress to give all or nothing. I would suggest changing the Dec 1, 2018 open dates and the lease end of 2023 requirements into priority groups as I think there will be funds left over.
Will keep posted as plan goes through review and possible signing into law by Mayor Bowser.
The revised budget also includes a $40 million COVID-19 Hotel Recovery Grant Program that would give $3500-$7000/room to hotels that suffered at least a 40% decrease in occupancy during pandemic.