Fort Worth Businesses Say The Inability To Pay The Rent Is A Real Concern
The city of Fort Worth surveyed 1,200 businesses in its borders, 78% of which are classified as small businesses with less than 25 employees.
Being able to pay the rent and mortgage was chosen by 57% of businesses surveyed as one of their most pressing concerns. Businesses also were greatly concerned about the need to generate enough revenue and cash flow (81%) and making payroll (56%) in the coming months.
The Fort Worth industries most represented in the survey are professional services, hospitality/tourism and general service providers.
For many, their long-term financial futures have become difficult to predict, and their current financial situation is dramatically changed from a short time ago. Forty-seven percent of respondents witnessed a 60% decline in revenue between the first day of March and the end of the month. Thirty percent said their revenue dropped more than 81% last month.
Just shy of half of business owners said they wouldn't be able to sustain their business more than a few months if current trends continue.
Another 57% said the coronavirus caught them off guard, since their firms failed to establish remote work or teleworking policies prior to the pandemic. About 58% had no leave policies in place for impacted employees.
Even if businesses do make their upcoming rent and payroll obligations, survey respondents still fear ongoing workforce challenges and utility payments.
These worries are not foreign to landlords interacting with tenants in these uncertain times. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, tenants have been asking landlords for everything from rent abatements to reductions, while also considering the idea of mass rent strikes.