- Small businesses are struggling to survive as authorities ask Americans to stay home and practice social distancing to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus , which has infected hundreds of thousands across the globe.
- Gilbert built a $6.46 billion fortune after cofounding mortgage lender Quicken Loans.
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A Detroit-based real-estate company owned by Quicken Loans cofounder Dan Gilbert is waiving rent and parking payments for up to three months for the small businesses located in buildings.
Select businesses that are located in Bedrock buildings will not be charged for rent, parking, or other expenses through the end of June, the company announced in a statement released on Monday. To qualify for the program, a business needs only to meet the Small Business Administration 's definition of a "small business" for a specific industry.
"As with all of our tenants, entrepreneurs and small businesses play an incredibly important role in our local economy, which has been central to Dan Gilbert's vision over the last 10 years of his investments in Detroit and Cleveland," Bedrock CEO Matt Cullen said in a statement . "It is going to take the entire community to mitigate the effects of this pandemic on the region, and we are happy to do our part to help our portfolio's most vulnerable businesses weather the storm.
In Detroit, Bedrock houses 125 retailers and restaurants, in addition to another 210 businesses in office space, according to a press release . It is unclear how many of those businesses would qualify for the firm's rent forgiveness program. The company said in a statement that none of the small businesses it leases space to had folded due to the virus thus far.
Detroit's theaters, gyms, bars, salons, and casinos were closed by an executive order from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on March 16, The Detroit Free Press reported, while restaurants have been limited to only serving food for take out. The closures, which are currently slated to continue until April 13, are a part of the social distancing strategy that aims to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus to a pace that will not overwhelm the United States' healthcare system.
The downtime could be detrimental to small businesses, the majority of which only have enough cash reserves to survive for 15 days without additional revenues, a JPMorgan study found. Since originating in Wuhan, China, in December, the virus has already infected over 392,000 people and killed over 17,000 , including 553 in the United States.
Gilbert built his $6.46 billion fortune after cofounding Quicken Loans in 1985 with money he made from delivering pizzas, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index . Quicken is now the largest mortgage lender in the United States, Bloomberg reports. The 58-year-old billionaire is also the majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Bloomberg .
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