Local experts offer advice to businesses struggling to pay rent

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD. (WDVM) — Local businesses are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis, and one of the largest financial burdens facing those businesses is paying rent.

During a virutal seminar Tuesday, the Maryland Women’s Business Center, Washington D.C. Women’s Business Center, The Canter Center and Community Business Partnership offered advice to those struggling to pay for their commercial leases and negotiate with landlords and property owners.

Panelists said landlords are more likely to give breaks to owners who show a passion for running their their business, restaurant or retail store.

Those experts say it’s important to review and adapt your business model to the current situation and focus on optimizing your services.

“Retaining your customers is always important, but going out and getting new customers is harder than retaining your existing customers. It’s now time to focus efforts on providing the absolute best customer experience, as much as you can, not being physically present in your place of business,” said Bob Canter, counselor of real estate.

Canter also told business owners that asking your landlord for direct assistance should be your last option, after other efforts to secure funds fail. He said landlord are more likely to give breaks to business owners with a proven track record of success, growth and passion for their business.

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