As the quote states Georgia has been one of the first US states to relax its economic lockdown rules. It appears that for many restaurant and retail operators the re-opening has not gone well. By way of example, the public is not rushing back to restaurant dining and I would expect a similar behavioural pattern in the UK.
However my main takeaway from the article is that it highlights the importance of landlords and tenants communicating frankly and transparently with each other at the earliest opportunity. A tenant rental default with no landlord communication or the landlord receiving a proforma letter from the tenant claiming financial hardship and refusing to pay will not engender a positive landlord response. I appreciate there are logistical challenges for national retail/restaurant chains and institutional landlords/large property companies in having meaningful interaction to work out every lease situation, however in my recent conversations with landlord clients and contacts, what has impressed me is how the majority of them have gone out of their way to engage personally with their tenants. Short term the letting challenges are significant (and the June quarter day looms large), however the positive is that for the landlords and their tenants who make it through the current economic turmoil working together, there is real potential to build mutually beneficial long term development/occupational relationships.
All eyes are on Georgia, one of the first states in the nation to allow some retailers — including restaurants, salons, gyms and small entertainment venues like bowling alleys or ax-throwing — to open or begin to seat customers after a stay-at-home order. Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to allow some nonessential businesses to reopen was decried by medical experts and some businesses as hasty. Even President Donald Trump, who days earlier reportedly asked governors to start reopening their economies, called Kemp's decree "too soon." Despite the public health and political debate, one thing is clear: The longer retailers and restaurants stay closed, the harder it will be for them to survive.