Like many landlords, Gwen Layden, owner of Ireland's famous family-owned George's Street Arcade in Dublin's city center, faced a difficult financial decision when the pandemic lockdown hit. Forty-two businesses operate within her property, and she opted to waive rent during lockdown. "You can’t charge rent if they’re not making money. It’s immoral, really, because [the tenants] won’t have the money to pay you, and they’ll take it from their family savings, which isn’t fair. We tailor the rents that are realistic and we have taken it out of our own savings," Layden said. The decision to waive rent has cost her family 400-500 thousand Euros in income. "I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt," she adds. "It definitely is hurting ... but I don’t see any other way. The alternative is that the business closes, and a shutter down is good for nobody." Since last year, March 2020, the only month tenants were charged a full rent was in December 2020. "The most important thing is that the businesses survive," Layden said.

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