You are reading

PODCAST: Small Business Owners and Landlords During COVID-19

May 11, 2020 By Christian Murray

The biggest issue for bars and restaurants right now is paying rent.

We talk to Luca DiCiero, founder and CEO of the real estate firm NYSpace Finders in Astoria, about the challenges these businesses face and the willingness of landlords to negotiate with them.

DiCiero has brought many business operators to western Queens, coordinating relationships between landlords and commercial tenants, since he founded his firm 10 years ago.

He says that many landlords and business operators are working together—although “there is some tension” as both parties try to weather the economic crisis.

Many landlords are prepared to negotiate with tenants, he says, although it is very “case by case,”

DiCiero said that he has found that the mom and pop landlords—and there are many throughout Queens– are being more flexible.

“The smaller landlords are a little more attentive, a little more understanding and they try to assist them,” he said. “That building is their baby; their retirement; and they want to get some income from it and don’t want it vacant for six months.”

Bigger landlords, he said, can absorb a vacancy and they know that they will be able to rent it in six months to someone else with a different concept.

“The rent might drop 25 percent but someone will take it,” DiCiero said, who sees a big softening in the market.

However, he said, the big property owners are wary of getting a bad reputation by playing hardball. “The word gets out,” so many are prepared to talk and negotiate.

DiCiero said that many of the small business he has been dealing with have just received federal help through the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides 2.5 months of payroll, that will sustain many for 30 to 60 days.

DiCiero recommends that all business owners reach out to their landlords.

“We strongly advise everyone to communicate– both landlord and tenant,” DiCiero said. “It is in everyone’s best interest.”

Let us know your experience. Post a comment below.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force investigating vandalism at Forest Hills church that has been targeted in the past

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a case of criminal mischief at a Forest Hills house of worship in which a vandal threw a rock to intentionally damage its glass front door, according to authorities.

Police say that just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, police from the 112th Precinct were called to Grace Lutheran Church, located at 103-15 Union Tpke., after a man threw a rock and damaged the church’s front door.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.