Restaurant owners ask for halt on commercial evictions

Coronavirus

The group is hoping for a statewide moratorium

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A number of small restaurant owners in Portland are asking for Governor Kate Brown to institute a moratorium on commercial evictions.

Many restaurants were forced to close after the governor’s executive order shut down non-essential businesses and limited eateries to only take-out or delivery. Restaurants that could not get by on this revenue alone have shuttered their doors and laid off many of their employees. But commercial rent is still due at the first of the month.

“It is a rare instance where a restaurant owns the building that they are in, so we are all having to independently negotiate with our landlords to understand: are we going to have to pay rent? is there going to be any sort of abatement? what are these issues going to look like?” explained Sean O’Connor of Kex Restaurant.

When asked for comment, the governor’s office responded with the following statement:

“The Governor’s eviction moratorium executive order was written to narrowly deal with the issue of residential evictions. However, our office continues to have conversations with stakeholders and legislative leaders about how commercial evictions and the larger financial issues surrounding eviction might be addressed more comprehensively through further executive action or legislation. Especially during a public health crisis in which people are losing their sources of income and businesses are closing their doors through no fault of their own, the Governor is working with her Coronavirus Economic Advisory Council to examine what solutions are available to provide additional relief to Oregonians.”

The restaurant owners are hoping for a statewide moratorium to set a standard for more than just Portland.

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