At Black Diamond Realty, our team has shifted to a work-from-home setup filled with screen sharing, remote server access and unique daily distractions, like children dodging in and out of video calls. We certainly are living in challenging and unprecedented times. Several weeks ago, the movie Contagion felt more like a sci-fi thriller, but has now become the reality for many Americans. We main strong as West Virginians and Pennsylvanians, and we know that we are in this together.
For some, the devastation is far greater than others. Some businesses survive and thrive on people, check that – lots of people, traversing through their doors on a daily basis. Some industries, like hospitality, require people to travel from different states to spend time in a city outside of where they call home. How do these types of businesses survive? For some, resiliency will keep the lights on and doors open. For others, despite their strongest efforts and desires to stay open, the task at hand is insurmountable. The margins and cash reserves are simply not there for some businesses who operate on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis. However, for most, hope remains and modifications to our previous routines can turn that hope into a positive outcome.
At Black Diamond Realty, we want to do our part to help support those struggling. We encourage our readers to do the same. Here are some tips of how you can support a local business.
Additionally, the federal government has come to the aid with various programs aimed at maintaining jobs and aiding our economy during these challenging times. Last week, Black Diamond Realty posted some valuable information on our website and social media outlets identifying helpful federal loan and grant programs aimed at aiding business owners, independent contractors and individuals. Applications for business owners were accepted, beginning Friday, April 3. Independent contractors can submit their applications starting Friday, April 10. Please spend a few minutes reviewing your options.
A reoccurring question has emerged over the past few weeks. How has the commercial real estate market been affected? Before answering, please keep in mind our experiences and observations are only a small sample size of real estate activity. With that in mind, Black Diamond Realty has experienced two sale deals that have been derailed due to buyer uncertainty associated with the economy. In addition, a handful of leases have been put on hold, hopefully temporary in nature, for the prospective tenant to “wait and see” how things shake out. On the positive side, numerous deals continue to press forward as many still believe in the long-term vitality of investing and establishing in this region. Several new deals have surfaced in the past three weeks since Corona made its unwelcomed introduction to America. Investors are looking for stability and economic opportunity. Interest rates are at a historic low while stock market volatility is extremely high after an 11 year bull run. For many, a shaky stock market mixed with low cost of funds results in a great time to diversify portfolios into commercial real estate.
At Black Diamond, we work hard to initiate positive change in all the communities we serve. Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions on how we can help our neighbors overcome this challenging situation.
In an unprecedented way, COVID-19 and the corresponding challenge has the potential to make our nation and moral fabric stronger. Let’s do our part to help turn a negative into a positive. Be kind. Be grateful. Share your love, time, talent and treasures with others in need. We will emerge stronger.
Article by David Lorenze, BDR Principal