Store Owners Contending with High Rental Costs

For retailers, the temperature’s not the only thing rising

By Alan Wolf, YSN

The rent has apparently come due for America’s small businesses.

Following two years of leniency during the pandemic, landlords are now asking store owners and other Main Street tenants to come up with their back rent, and many are adding monthly increases as well.

According to a survey by Alignable, a small business referral platform, 35% of U.S. small businesses couldn’t pay their rent in full and on time in June, up 9% from January. What’s more, rent costs have escalated for more than half (52%) of the more than 4,400 respondents, the Boston-based network said.

The added burden comes as merchants must contend with a still out-of-sync supply chain and consumers reprioritize their spending amid record-high inflation.

See: Consumers Still Spending, Just Differently

“Many small businesses are still frankly recovering from whatever the last phase of COVID was,” Alignable communications chief Chuck Casto told The Associated Press. “Plus, they’re dealing with a year’s worth of increasing inflation on top of that. It’s made it difficult for small businesses to really make a go of it.”

Casto said he hopes that media attention on small businesses’ rent challenges will lead to additional legislation and increased public support in the form of more local shopping.