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Question added to topic Grow Your BusinessDecember 17, 2008

Is my only choice to file bankruptcy and shut down my convenience store?

MY American dream small business (convenience store) opened three years ago. Unfortunately the building I am in was sold. The new owner raised the monthly rent from $3,000 to $4,700 and told me to take down all advertising on the window, including the open sign, which means it is hard for customers to see the store from outside, so business is very slow. The owner says he made these rules because it's a first-class building. With this slow economy and high rent I have been using my credit card to cover the rent from month to month. The point is, I can't operate a business any longer. Is bankruptcy my only alternative? Do you think it is possible for me to negotiate the lease?
Did you re-sign a new lease agreement with the new landlord? If not, your old agreement should be in effect. Talk to your attorney to see what your options are and DO NOT negotiate another lease or renegotiate for yourself. That's apparently why you are facing the issues you are. Instead, get an attorney to do the bargaining for you.

Brad Sugars is the founder and chairman of ActionCOACH. As an entrepreneur, author and business coach, he has owned and operated more than two dozen companies including his main company, ActionCOACH, which has more than 1,000 offices in 34 countries.

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