Small businesses across Canada will be able to take advantage of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement CECRA for small businesses. He says, “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. 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 program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.
Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
More details about how CECRA will be delivered are available here.
The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) applications start on Monday, April 27th, so businesses should determine their eligibility, assess which employees are eligible, and use the CRA calculator to start preparing their applications. Applications should be made on your My Business Account with the CRA.