The Government of Canada, in partnership with provinces and territories, has created the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.
It will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three-monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
“More help is on the way for our small businesses across the country. They are the backbone of our families, our communities, and our economy,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “That is why we will continue working closely with provinces and territories to make sure that Canadian businesses have the support they need during these difficult times.”
The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a condition not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place.
The small business tenant would cover the remainder of the rent. Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent that has temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.
This is part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.