Update #2: Brace Yourself
Dear Clients & Colleagues:
Since our last correspondence with you on Friday AM (link to that email below in case you missed it) we have been in regular contact with the small business community (restaurants in particular), public officials in various municipalities, neighborhood orgs and many of you; all in an effort to further educate ourselves and share accurate and reliable information with you as thing change, rapidly. It was a sobering and wildly intense weekend for us and I’m sure for many of you as well.
With Governor Baker’s order last night for MA (and other similar orders across the country) we have more clarity re: the days ahead as related to regulations surrounding places of public accommodation & public gatherings (link below). It is worth noting that this is a major improvement from Friday, Saturday and early Sunday, when the burden of “to open vs. close” was overwhelming on every single retailer we spoke to. While this specific burden is largely gone, now the most trying period comes for many of our retail and restaurant friends: the staff conversations and lay-offs… And, fundamentally, the question of solvency and survival.
We are all learning in real-time right now and my plan as recently as yesterday was to set up a series of conference calls and video chats to bring landlords together to talk about approaches to dealing with tenants. But as I realized from calls yesterday with a few of you (and from my first call on the same line with both a landlord and a tenant last night), we can skip a discussion of approaches at the moment and instead aggressively shift our heads – for today – to the hard recognition that few, if any, locally-owned restaurants, fitness facilities, and neighborhood retailers, almost all of which depend on day-to-day in-person commerce, will be able to make full payroll, vendor payments, and rent on April 1.
Graffito believes it should be our collective goal to do everything we can to ensure that all of the tenants in our projects that are closed this morning – and those that will close in the coming days – are not closing for good. This burden cannot be on landlords alone of course, and we trust that significant public action(s) will be coming, but one of the things we learned from the dozens of calls we had over the weekend is that we at Graffito should stick to doing what we do best in this trying time, which is to continue to serve as a translator between retailers & restaurants and our LL clients & partners.
We will be updating our website regularly with content and perspectives that we think are important and timely to all of us. We are doing our best to keep up with social-media channels, and we will remain in close contact with electeds, your tenants, and you as this unprecedented time plays out.
Email to clients from Friday:
Baker’s Order from last night:
Crash course re: issues your restaurant tenants are dealing with right now:
We will be back in touch soon,