PALM SPRINGS-As COVID-19 impacts businesses around the world, Coachella Valley residents feel the impact financially.
Christopher Kennedy is an interior designer who runs Christopher Kennedy Inc. in Palm Springs and says the virus has effected his own company.
“In the interior design world we’re usually on-boarding summer remodels and summer projects because clients want things done when they’re away. There is no income. We are trying to keep our employees on payroll and we’re applying to government assistance programs,” said Kennedy.
One challenge for businesses and families alike is paying rent.
The city of Palm Springs approved an ordinance that protects residential, commercial tenants and non-profits from eviction.
“We have so many renters and tenants in Palm Springs, we have so many local business who are unable to pay their rent,”said Christy Holstege, the Mayor Pro Tem of Palm Springs. “We knew that we had to keep our businesses there so that they’re operating and so that there are jobs to come back to.”
Under ordinance no. 2022, residential renters must notify landlords 15 days after rent is due if they can not make a payment. Non-residential tenants have 7 days after their rent is done. This communication must be done by email, text or written letter.
“The landlord can request documentation and the tenant has 30 days to provide documentation to the landlord,” said Holstege. “That could be like your unemployment or your wages or paycheck showing it’s less.”
If the landlord approves, any unpaid rent due to COVID-19 is due six months (180 days) after the emergency declaration is over, and payment plans can be negotiated.
“Obviously we want to avoid that because we don’t want to have six months of rent due all at once at the very end,”said Holstege. “You want to pay as you can and work with your landlord.”
And businesses are hopeful the coming months will make up for what was missed economically.
“It definitely is a relief,” said Kennedy. “Hopefully Palm Springs will have a great summer because people have been locked up in their homes, but we just don’t know.”