DeLand business tenants surprised with $1 rent during coronavirus pandemic

Kind gesture helps ease lack of customer worries

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Paul Weintraub described a grandfather clock that was recently fixed, one of the many unique items inside Backhome Antiques in DeLand. He’s been the store owner for a month now and said business has dropped about 95% in just a matter of days.

“Right now it’s all walk-in traffic. There’s nobody walking. I have one customer in the store right now and she’s checking things out,” Weintraub chuckled.

He said even dwindling sales can’t stop him from smiling, knowing that April’s rent will be one less thing he has to worry about.

The owner of his building and six others is trust, according to Weintraub. He said the manager of the trust gave the tenants a very generous break.

“$1.06 for the entire month," he said about April’s rent bill. "That was fantastic because if I had to pay my full value with nobody coming in, I probably would have lost the business just as fast as I opened it. It was that critical,” Weintraub said.

His rent is $1,500 a month and Weintraub said he can only imagine how much the anonymous trustee is spending to keep seven shops on Woodland Boulevard afloat.

"That's a lot of money. And he just wrote it off and that's really great," said Weintraub.

News 6 called Solomon Greene, the property manager who said quote:

“We were delighted by his generosity and passed the good news along to the tenants. Many property owners are not in a financial position to make such a generous concession, but this property owner was in a position to do so, and his generosity is commendable.”

Weintraub has since reduced store hours and put nearly everything on sale but said knowing he can afford to stay open next month is a weight off his shoulders.

And that's good enough for now.

“I’m going to do the best that I can with that break and then move on from there,” he said.

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