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James Newell, shareholder and chair of the firm's Financial Institutions practice, is quoted in the Pittsburgh Business Times article, “Business bankruptcy filings in Pittsburgh during 2020 fell to lowest level in at least 17 years.”

James Newell, chair of the financial institutions practice at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, was surprised at the low numbers.

“But I believe there’s been a great deal of cooperation between secured lenders and borrowers over the course of the last 11 months under all the circumstances that exist,” Newell said. “The Paycheck Protection Program rolled out last year provided liquidity and assistance for businesses that otherwise might have faced the need to file.”

“Court restructuring and workouts in large part is the basis for fewer filings,” Newell added.

Large retailer bankruptcies nationwide occurred during the summer and early fall with big-name companies, he noted, setting the stage for a new wave.

“What everyone is bracing for over the next several quarters and, perhaps, year is what’s going to happen on the commercial real estate front with mall owners, strip and plaza property owners who lease space to retailers and the impact this has had on those folks,” Newell said. “Anything dealing with hospitality, downtown hotels, resorts, places that hold national conferences continue to suffer and with the slow rollout of the vaccine, particularly here in Pennsylvania, those challenges are going to continue for the next several months at minimum.”