The coffee vendor at Schaumburg's Metra station, who also serves as the building's custodian, received a six-month break on the rent Tuesday to keep his business viable amid the major downturn in traffic there during the pandemic.
Schaumburg trustees voted unanimously to award Johnikutty Philipose a waiver of his $300 monthly rent for Johnny's Coffee Mart at the train station from October through March.
The station, whose building at 2000 S. Springinsguth Road is owned and operated by the village, has seen its average daily traffic drop from nearly 1,000 vehicles in the parking lot to 20 to 40.
Philipose couldn't secure financial help through Schaumburg's Small Business Grant Program because he has no plans to expand, and he didn't qualify for the federal Paycheck Protection Program because he has no employees other than himself.
Schaumburg Communications Director Allison Albrecht said officials determined this was a unique situation in which providing rent relief for Philipose was beneficial to both his business and the village's own operation of the building.
The village normally pays Philipose $667 per month for his twice-daily cleanings of the station Mondays through Saturdays. This function is especially important during the pandemic, Albrecht added.
The $300 monthly rent for the coffee and snack shop normally is deducted from Philipose's custodial pay.
Schaumburg officials asked the company that cleans the village's other buildings how much it would cost to add the Metra station to its duties. The company quoted prices of $800 per month to clean the station once a day and $1,600 per month for the twice-daily cleanings Philipose now does.