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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Port San Luis cuts rent in half for struggling businesses

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 7:52 PM

Several businesses and organizations in the Port San Luis Harbor District are getting a 50 percent discount on three months worth of rent amid the coronavirus pandemic.
click to enlarge DROWNING IN LOSSES With beaches closed and a shelter-at home order in place, businesses in Port San Luis are struggling. The Port San Luis Harbor Commission is hoping to help. - FILE PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • FILE PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • DROWNING IN LOSSES With beaches closed and a shelter-at home order in place, businesses in Port San Luis are struggling. The Port San Luis Harbor Commission is hoping to help.

At a special meeting on April 16, the Port San Luis Harbor Commission voted to approve a 50 percent reduction in base rent for the months of March, April, and May for any of its 11 lessees facing financial losses due to coronavirus-related closures, according to Harbor District Business Manager Kristen Stout. The Harbor Commission also voted to waive any fees and penalties associated with late rental payments for the same time period.

“So there’s no penalties, there’s no late fees,” Stout told New Times. “We’re very, very understanding of the financial situation that our lessees are in because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The decision goes even further than the measures Harbor District staff initially proposed—the elimination of late fees and penalties during April and May. But Stout said Gov. Gavin Newsom’s March 27 executive order banning the enforcement of eviction orders only applies to residential renters, and some Harbor Commissioners wanted to do more to help the businesses—like Avila Beach Paddlesports, Fat Cats Cafe, and Patriot Sportfishing— that have had to close down almost entirely.

Along with wiping away half of its lessees’ rent, the Harbor District is also working to set up a year-long repayment plan, in which lessees can slowly pay back any missed rent over the course of 12 months starting in July.

Base rents due to the Port San Luis Harbor District in April and May would typically add up to $42,241, but Stout said it isn’t clear yet how much revenue the district will lose through the new lessee recovery plan.

Stout said the Harbor District isn’t the only entity attempting to help its renters right now, and while everyone is doing something a little different and maybe not as drastic, she said, “This is what we’re doing.” ∆
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