CORONAVIRUS

Lindale owner part of small business initiative

Program offers lease modification form, webinars for small businesses

Washington Prime Group, the real estate investment trust that owns the Cedar Rapids shopping mall, has joined with the I
Washington Prime Group, the real estate investment trust that owns the Cedar Rapids shopping mall, has joined with the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship in Chicago and members of the University of Chicago faculty to launch the Open for Small Business initiative. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The owner of Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids is working with two partners to help the owners of small businesses closed by the pandemic.

Washington Prime Group, the Columbus, Ohio-based real estate investment trust that owns the Cedar Rapids shopping mall, has joined with the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship in Chicago and members of the University of Chicago faculty to launch the Open for Small Business initiative.

The initiative recognizes the role small businesses play as a major driver of the U.S. economy as well as comprising a substantial percentage of retail tenants. To address the issue of near term cash flow, Open for Small Business is making available a lease modification template for deferral of monthly rent payments until struggling entrepreneurs recover financially.

The form is available at washingtonprime.app.box.com/v/lease-modification-template.

Open for Small Business also is hosting educational webinars about how to access U.S. Small Business Administration guaranteed loans as well as public and not-for-profit agency programs. Other webinars will include industry experts discussing leadership, accounting, marketing, advertising, recruitment and other topics.

For more information on the webinars, go to washingtonprime.com/open-for-small-business-initiative.

“While the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been dramatic to say the least, there will be a return to normalcy,” said Lou Conforti, CEO and director of Washington Prime Group in a news release. “When things settle down, we all better make sure small-business owners are ready to open for business ...

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“Collectively, they generate substantial tax revenue and employ 47.8 percent of our private U.S. workforce.”

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