Philadelphia City Council moves to protect restaurants that rent space, Black-owned businesses

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia City Council Thursday imposed a moratorium on evictions for restaurants that lease space.

Council unanimously passed a bill that prohibits landlords from evicting restaurant tenants for six months if the tenant shows it lost 50% of its revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The bill also bans late fees on rent.

Language in the bill said it's necessary "to ensure that restaurants are able to stay in business to support an equitable recovery." It doesn't apply to chains or restaurants with more than 100 employees.

Also at this week's meeting, council passed a bill that prohibits the use of synthetic herbicides on any city-owned land.

Sponsor Cindy Bass said the pandemic has made it more urgent.

“This year especially, our communities are turning to Philadelphia's parks, fields and playgrounds more than ever before. We must prioritize the health and safety of our communities, particularly our underserved communities, which have been plagued by enhanced exposure to environmental toxins,” Bass said.

Council also adopted a resolution declaring the four Fridays in December "Shop Black Business" Fridays, to support businesses that are community anchors throughout the city and are at high risk of closure from the pandemic.