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Washington Prime launches online marketplace for tenants in closed centers

April 13, 2020

Each week, the general manager of a different Washington Prime Group shopping center will curate a selection of merchandise from that center to be made available for purchase online while the property is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goods will be available on the shopping center’s website. The goal is to help tenants maintain sales. Washington Prime, which owns 104 properties totaling 56 million square feet, is kicking off the marketing program, called Well Picked Goods, with Polaris Fashion Place in Columbus, Ohio.

Consumers who order $100 of goods through the online channel will be eligible to earn a $25 gift card, provided by Washington Prime, to use in person when the company’s properties once again are open for business.

Washington Prime Group is also partnering with the Institute for Justice’s Clinic on Entrepreneurship and The University of Chicago to launch the Open for Small Business Initiative. The program is designed to help small business return to normal after the crisis abates. “This initiative provides an easy-to-use lease-modification template providing helpful options until local entrepreneurs can get back on their feet,” said Washington Prime Group CEO Lou Conforti. The lease modification template helps tenants quickly apply for rental payment deferments.

Open for Small Business also hosts educational webcasts with government-agency officials and private-sector experts to discuss how to access Small Business Administration-guaranteed loans and more. These resources are available to all small businesses, including those that are not Washington Prime tenants.

“When things settle down, we all better make sure small business owners are indeed ready to open for business,” Conforti said. “These individuals, many of whom are women and minorities, possess an entrepreneurial spirit which is best defined by hard work, creativity and a passion for the products and services they deliver to their neighbors.”

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor, Commerce + Communities Today

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