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Boca Raton News


Date ArticleType
4/9/2020 General
Washington Prime Group Partners

The Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, the University of Chicago and Washington Prime Group Announce the Open for Small Business Initiative
• Washington Prime Group continues its proactive stance as a community resource by launching a small business support initiative

COLUMBUS, OH – April 6, 2020 – Washington Prime Group Inc. (NYSE: WPG) today announced that the Company has partnered with the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship and members of the University of Chicago faculty to launch the Open for Small Business initiative. Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler, Freakonomics author Steven Levitt and Institute Director Elizabeth Kregor have joined forces with Washington Prime Group to address the unprecedented business closures resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This initiative recognizes the essential role small businesses play as a major driver of the US economy as well as comprising a substantial percentage of retail oriented tenancy.

In order to address the reality small businesses face concerning near term cash flow, Open for Small Business has provided an easy to use lease modification as well as other relevant templates which allow for the deferral of payments until these local entrepreneurs get back on their feet.
Open for Small Business is also hosting educational webinars about how to access US Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loans as well as public and nonprofit agency programs. Other webinars will include industry experts discussing leadership, accounting, marketing, advertising, recruitment, etc. Washington Prime Group held its first webinar this past week and over 300 small business owners participated. These resources are being made available to all small businesses whether or not they are a Washington Prime Group tenant simply because it’s the right thing to do.

Lou Conforti, CEO and Director of Washington Prime Group, stated: “While the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has been dramatic to say the least, there will be a return to normalcy…and when things settle down, we all better make sure small business owners are indeed ready to open for business. 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.

“They also provide local flavor whether it be in the form of a falafel sandwich, a sweatshirt emblazoned with your favorite minor league baseball team (shout out to the Albuquerque Isotopes) or a handmade shelf to display your collection of Iron City Beer cans honoring the 1975/1976 Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. They’ll also repair a broken heel as well as prepare your income tax return.

“Collectively, they generate substantial tax revenue and employ a lot of people. In fact, the 30.2M small businesses located in the US employ 47.8% of our private US workforce. Plain and simple, it is imperative we do everything possible to keep our local entrepreneurs afloat.”
Steven D. Levitt, Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, stated: “Simply put, this is the greatest economic challenge we’ve faced in 75 years. Everyone is going to feel the sting. The best shot we have to emerge strong is to work together. In crises, simple solutions have value, so people can focus their attention on the most important problems, and we are pleased to partner with Lou and Washington Prime Group on this important initiative.”

Levitt is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he directs the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory, and he co-authored Freakonomics, which spent over two years on the New York Times® Best Sellers list.
Washington Prime Group’s proactive lease modification template¹ is standardized and easy to use. The template is intended to be utilized by small businesses throughout the US regardless of their landlord.

Additional information related to the Open for Small Business initiative and the aforementioned small business resources, including audio replays of the webcast series, can be found at http://washingtonprime.com/open-forsmall-business-initiative.
¹The documentation presented is not an offer or promise to modify a lease with Washington Prime Group. The documentation should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion by the Company or any of its affiliates. Individuals should reach out to independent counsel for legal advice with regards to any lease modification or loan.

About The Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship
The IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship provides free legal assistance, support and advocacy for low-income entrepreneurs in Chicago. The IJ Clinic also trains the next generation of attorneys to be vigorous and creative advocates for
entrepreneurs. Learn more at www.ij.org/ij-clinic-on-entrepreneurship.

About The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Its commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to its global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world. Learn more at www.uchicago.edu.

About Washington Prime Group
Washington Prime Group Inc. is a retail REIT and a recognized leader in the ownership, management, acquisition and development of retail properties. The Company combines a national real estate portfolio with its expertise across the entire shopping center sector to increase cash flow through rigorous management of assets and provide new opportunities to retailers looking for growth throughout the U.S. Washington Prime Group® is a registered trademark of the Company. Learn more at www.washingtonprime.com.

Lisa A. Indest, CAO & EVP, Finance, 614.887.5844 or [email protected]
Kimberly A. Green, VP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, 614.887.5647 or
[email protected]