PROPERTY OWNERS and small-business tenants across Canada are to benefit from a government initiative that will provide rent relief and loan support for struggling businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that applications are now being accepted for the programme – the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.
“We all need to work together if we want our economy to come out strong after this pandemic. This programme will help property owners, small businesses, workers, and our communities make it through this difficult time. Small businesses are the backbone of this country. We need to be there to support them when it matters most, ” a release from the prime minister’s office noted.
Over the course of the programme, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75 per cent for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June for their small-business tenants. CECRA will cover 50 per cent of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25 per cent and the property owner forgiving at least 25 per cent.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau underscored the value of the programme to the business community and commended property owners who had already taken action to help their tenants. He said: “Small businesses are an integral part of our economy and are vital for families and communities across the country. Many businesses are facing economic hardship and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. The opening of CECRA will provide forgiveable loans to commercial property owners, who, in turn, will lower or forgo the rent of tenants to keep them viable and ready to bounce back during the post-pandemic recovery.”
Applications will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.