Michael Pollack on COVID-19, SBA assistance and Doug Ducey

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Michael Pollack has been through several downturns and upheavals during his 47 years in real estate.

But of course, Pollack has not seen anything like COVID-19 and its impact on greater society and the economy.

Pollack talked about COVID-19, the economy and how Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has handled the pandemic during Rose Law Group’s New Economy (Virtual) Power Lunch on Friday.

Pollack said his tenants ran into some struggles getting grants and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration during the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program.

“The first go around it was very, very difficult,” said Pollack of the program set up to help small businesses survive COVID-19.

But Pollack who owns shopping centers throughout metro Phoenix said the SBA program has improved and is helping more of his tenants.

Pollack has hired a new SBA coordinator to help his tenants navigate COVID-19 assistance programs. He is also taken out newspaper ads to try to help and encourage other business owners.

“I wanted to get it out across the city and cities. I wanted them to understand that there was some hope,” Pollack told the virtual Rose Law Group forum.

Pollack said he has been impressed by Ducey’s handling of the pandemic and his balancing of public health and getting the economy reopened.

“Thank goodness we have a governor who is hip for business,” Pollack said.

Ducey has not been as aggressive as governors in Texas, South Dakota or Georgia in re-opening the economy. The Arizona Republican has also been less strident in his shutdown moves than governors in Michigan, California and Oregon,

Pollack also owns the Pollack Tempe Cinemas. He is not sure yet when the movie theatres will reopen. That is because the Tempe cinemas get movies on their second runs.

Pollack said first-run theaters are already being challenged by delays in Hollywood productions and release dates because of COVID-19. Pollack said those delays will also dictate when his cinemas can reopen.

“We won’t be able to open at the same time as them. The train has to move a little bit at a time, “ said Pollack.

Pollack said he is working on safety plans for when the theaters reopen.

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