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Cecil Cummins

Shopping Center Retail and the Impact of COVID-19


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As we sit here, in the midst of the COVID lockdown, I thought it would be important to discuss the economic impact of the pandemic, how the pandemic will impact real-estate and how the pandemic will shape our economic futures in the near future.

Understanding exactly how the pandemic will affect decision making in the short and long term will help us all prepare for the coming economic storm. 

That’s why I took the time to conduct a sit down interview with entrepreneur and CEO of NetCo. investments Ray Bayat. In the full interview below, we discuss the economic impact of the pandemic on shopping center retail stores.

Because of COVID-19, and a number of different stay at home orders issued by state governments, businesses have been hit hard across the country, especially mom and pop shops around the U.S.

Businesses have been forced to close and this impacts the ability of those businesses to pay rent. 

Ray even goes so far to explain how, as of April 4th 2020, less than 30% of his tenants had paid rent.

This clearly shows how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts businesses but also the real estate industry as a whole. 

How long the COVID-19 pandemic will last is unknown, and at this point, it’s anybody’s guess.  

The good news, or perhaps some light at the end of the tunnel, is that recent trends in data show that the growth rate of COVID-19 is finally beginning to slow.

When it comes to tenants paying rent during a COVID-19 pandemic, Ray mentions that in each case of tenants not paying rent, asking for rent abatement really depends upon the situation specific to that tenant. He goes on to mention that he really wants to work with all of his tenants, especially ones that have been forced to shut down when it comes to not being able to pay rent. 

Paying rent needs to be handled on a case by case basis and he expects the current economic bailout simply won’t be enough for small businesses. Now, if a tenant is a part of a larger franchise or corporation and their business is still open and they are not paying rent, that is a different situation entirely. There are certainly people who are taking advantage of the emergency measures put in place during this pandemic. 

Near the end of the interview, I ask Ray what he thinks about the near future from an economic perspective and while he clearly states that he is not an economist, he believes that the recent proposed bailout will not be enough to prop up most small businesses, especially the mom and pop shops around the U.S. Ray thinks there will need to be multiple rounds injected into the economy to support businesses while lockdowns are in place across the country. 

On a higher level, how the bailout impacts the overall economy, real estate as an industry, and inflation rates in the U.S. overall, remains to be seen.


Cecil Cummins


Direct: 410-260-6536

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