1/3rd of Salisbury Businesses Missed Rent Payments in May, as rent hikes threaten to worsen debt crisis for restaurants
SALISBURY, MD – The cost of rent is going up across Maryland, but not just for individuals, businesses are feeling the impact too.
Salisbury Chamber of Commerce President Bill Chambers says the prices for commercial spaces are rising at a time when restaurants are already struggling to pay debts while trying to stay open.
Chambers says, specifically in Salisbury, one-third of businesses couldn’t make rent in May, while half of all businesses saw a rent increase in the last six months.
“These rents are just another nail in the coffin we are going to see closures once we get past the summer season which is bolstering businesses for now, in the fall things will tail off,” he said.
Chambers tells 47ABC he understands that for landlords, their taxes and cost of maintenance bills went up, but cautions property owners from following the trend and pricing out existing businesses from their spaces; assuming there will always be someone next to rent.
“I don’t have the same confidence that many landlords do that you are going to find a new person to fill that space at a higher per square footage rate because we are seeing across Maryland now business growth slowing,” he said.
He tells us landlords have to consider that even if they can find new businesses, that process could take months, while the sight of a vacant storefront can still hurt the image and business in a community.
“They have to consider the impacts this has on the area on the appearance and on the community that wants to have these businesses around and have this small business feel’ he said.
He says many of the burdens faced by restaurants could have been avoided, had congress voted to replenish the restaurant relief fund. He says without the federal dollars, small businesses are already maxed out on debt, and this fall has a rough outlook for mom and pop retailers.