Kimco forms unit to give tenants a jump on government relief
When the pandemic hit, Conor Flynn and the rest of the leadership at Kimco were confident they’d make it through the tough times.
“We recognized we have terrific access to capital. We have $800 million on the balance sheet and more than a billion dollars in credit available. So after we took steps to assure the health and wellness of all our people, we quickly shifted our focus to how we help our tenants,” said Conor, Kimco’s CEO.
About 80% of Kimco’s properties are grocery-anchored, containing the Costcos, Publix’s, and Targets that are posting sales records during the coronavirus. So Kimco set up a Tenant Assistance Program (TAP) to focus on the peculiar problems of nail salons, fitness centers, barbers shops, restaurants, and other in-line shops.
“We’ve been pretty consistent about saying our national retailers should be paying our rent and we should be helping all the others,” Flynn said.
Kimco is paying all the fees to law firms that operate TAP. They deal with shutdown tenants on a case-by-case basis to review all the government-assisted disaster relief loans available to them, and to advance the flow of applications to the correct ones.
“Small businesses are the life’s blood of the community. So many of them have been family-run for generations and we wanted to give them quick access to capital,” Flynn said. “With programs like this, it’s first come, first served, and the application process can be daunting. We thought we could help them jump the line.”
Kimco will also be running tenant webinars on its website to help tenants get a full understanding of the best way to proceed through the crisis.