Hi, my name is Andrew Welchek. I’m a partner at the law firm of Cohen, Hochman, and Allen. I represent individuals and businesses in New York City who own property and have problems. They need to negotiate a deal, close a sale, resolve a dispute, go to court, stay out of court. If you own or occupy a commercial property in New York City, you’re going to have problems. You come to me and I help.
Today’s video blog is about something I’m sure that’s on all our minds. What is going to happen next year? Anybody who tells you they know is just guessing. But I’m not shy about sharing my guess. I think it falls into three areas. One is: what’s going to happen to everybody? What’s going to happen to those people who have done well during the shutdown in the pandemic?
And what’s going to happen to those people who have not been doing well? First and foremost, the vaccine has to work and the disease has to get under control. Our best predictions so far seem to be that that may happen, and we certainly hope that it will, by next spring or summer. Then people can get back together and spending money. The economy can resume being active and helping support us all.
Now, the second group I mentioned was those people who’ve done well already during the shutdown — either their business is called for during these emergency sessions, and they’re really busy, and they have customers who can pay them or they have a lot of cash, so they’re ready to pick up bargains in the commercial property area, for instance. People who can no longer pay their mortgages because their tenants can’t pay them their rent are going to be having fire sales. And then there are the people who aren’t doing well.
That’s largely people who weren’t doing well in the first place, don’t necessarily have cash reserves or were laid off and unemployed or, God forbid, suffered the disease and have permanent or other damage as a result of that. I think once, and if — and we certainly hope it happens — the vaccine succeeds in putting the disease under control, the people who are doing well are going to continue to do well. And the people who weren’t doing so well, they’re not going to do so well. For example, and this may be a surprise, I was speaking to a restaurant owner this afternoon who told me he’s convinced that, in fact, the restaurant business will bounce back.
How can that be, you ask. Well, people who were careful and smart in the leases and the deals that they negotiated with their landlords, and were lucky enough to have good, reasonably smart landlords, are going to be able to open restaurants for very little money compared to anywhere else in the country. The cost of a liquor license in New York City is lower than any other major city. People who are not able to do that weren’t able to prepare themselves to survive as a restaurant, are going to go out of business, and that space will be open to the other folks wanting to start.
New York is a city in which there are lots of crazy people who love to open restaurants. That’s why we have the best and the largest and most varied restaurant availability of any city in the country. That’s just one example. First and foremost, I hope everyone is well and stays well, and that the vaccine works and that we get to talk about this more next year.
Thank you very much. My name is Andrew Weltchek. I’m a partner at Cohen, Hochman, and Allen, and you can always call me on my cell phone at 973 223 4567.