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Open for Small Business Initiative logo

As many small businesses have been closed during the Coronavirus pandemic, these local entrepreneurs are increasingly finding it difficult if not impossible to currently pay operating expenses such as payroll, insurance, utilities, loan interest, inventory and, of course, their rent. 


Let’s keep it simple. Our Open for Small Business Initiative partner and 2017 Economic Sciences Nobel Laureate, Richard Thaler along with his colleague Jeff Severts just published an editorial in the Wall Street Journal entitled Lower the Rent During the Coronavirus Pandemic. They stated, ‘many aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic are incredibly complex. Lease renegotiation doesn’t need to be one of them’ and we couldn’t agree more. 

So in order to streamline the process, we have provided an easy to use lease modification template which allows for the deferral and/or abatement of rent payments until you get back on your feet.

The standard lease modification template is summarized as follows: 

  • Rental payments will be deferred substantially or entirely during the Relief Period predicated upon whether a qualifying small business remains open or closed.

  • If physical premises of a small business establishment remains open, the rental payment shall be 10% of the most recent monthly rental payment.

  • If closed, the rental payment shall be 100% deferred.

  • Upon conclusion of the Relief Period, rental payment shall be reinstated based upon the most recent lease terms and conditions prior to the Relief Period.

  • Beginning six months after the end of the Relief Period, the amount calculated as Total Deferral Amount will be amortized during the next 6-month period.

  • Relief Period is defined as the following: (i) The reopening of said establishment pursuant to approval of applicable governmental authority; and (ii) A 30-day grace period commencing from date of opening.


Contact your Landlord or respective Leasing Representative for more information.

Disclaimer: The documentation presented is not an offer or promise to modify a Lease with Washington Prime Group (“WPG”). The documentation should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion by WPG (or any of its affiliates). Individuals should reach out to independent counsel for legal advice with regard to any lease modification or loan. 

The Open for Small Business Initiative is also hosting educational programs via webcast seminars. We’ll have agency officials and other experts on hand to address everything you need to know about how to access Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loans as well as other public and nonprofit programs. We’ll also be holding tutorials focusing upon leadership, accounting, recruiting, social media, advertising and marketing led by industry professionals in order to address the necessary catalysts required to jumpstart your small business when it’s time to open back up.

Follow us on Instagram to learn more about upcoming webcasts.

Upcoming Webcasts From Our Partners:

Your COVID-19 Customer Retention Strategy
Brady Keller, Custom Success Manager at Chatmeter
5/19/20  2 p.m EST
Join Chatmeter’s Customer Success Manager, Brady Keller, to discover how to build customer trust and loyalty during COVID-19. Join this webcast to learn steps to protect your brand’s reputation during COVID-19, as well as learn about real examples of the ways brands are keeping their customer base engaged at this time. In addition, Brady will discuss his thoughts on how COVID-19 could permanently change the retail landscape and provide strategies to drive more store traffic upon reopening. Register Here

How US Bank is Helping Customers
Michael P. Munsen, BBS Sales Manager, US Bank
(Rescheduling: stay tuned for new date) 
Michael will discuss the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) programs.

Free Virtual Fitness Classes:
While small business owners are busy taking care of their business and everyone that’s a part of it, we’d like to offer them a small way to take care of themselves. Beginning May 11, join us on Mondays and Thursdays for free virtual fitness courses, taught by fitness instructors from The Fitness Loft in Columbus, Ohio.

Yoga, noon to 1 p.m. EST
Every Monday, May 11 - June 15

Boot Camp, noon to 1 p.m. EST
Every Thursday, May 14 - June 11

Access all classes here:
Meeting ID: 624-605-1426
Password: 899515

For either yoga or boot camp, you will need: a yoga mat (or beach towel), athletic attire, and plenty of water. All exercise levels are welcome, and instructors will be sure to give modifications to those wishing to make the class easier or harder.

Audio Replays of Past Webcasts:
4/2/20  Alex Kohls of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) discusses the CARES Act and economic injury disaster loans. Replay
4/3/20  Alex Kohls of the SBA discusses the CARES Act and economic injury disaster loans. Replay 

4/16/20  William Harper, M.D., founder of Harper Health in Chicago, discusses health and safety related to COVID-19. Replay

4/17/20  Michael Blickman of Ice Miller in Indianapolis discusses the CARES Act as it relates to employee and insurance topics. Replay

4/22/20  Building Relationships with Local Media during the COVID-19 crisis...and Beyond with Beth Welley, APR, Senior Vice President at Fahlgren Mortine Replay

4/23/20  Time Management Tweaks with Becca Apfelstadt, Co-Founder and CEO of Treetree Replay

4/28/20  Utilities Management & Cost Efficiencies with Dan Moat, VP Business Development Vervantis Replay 

4/29/20  How to Reach the Socially Distant Consumer with Sudhir Venkatesh, Director Tech Society Interface Lab at Columbia University Replay 

5/5/20  Retail Resiliency (Adapting to a New Retail Environment) with Brett Beaudette, Retail Designer and Strategist at Ideal Productions & Design LLC  Replay

5/6/20  Employee Benefits and Coronavirus; Now What? with Mike Roehm, Vice President of Lang Financial Group, Inc. Replay

5/7/20  Powered by Happy with Beth Thomas, CEO of Change 4 Growth  Replay

5/12/20  State of the Industry: A discussion with John Barker, Ohio Restaurant Association and Sean Kennedy, National Restaurant Association  Replay 

  • University of Chicago Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship
  • Beth Kregor Advocate for entrepreneurs and trusted legal advisor, is the director of the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship
  • Richard B. Thaler, Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished service professor of behavioral science and economics and recipient of the 2017 nobel memorial prize in economic sciences; 
  • Steven B. Levitt, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor and coauthor of the New York Times best seller Freakonomics;
  • Washington Prime Group, Inc. News release