Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government and all the provinces and territories have agreed to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program to reduce small business rent costs by up to 75% and support property owners in covering these costs.
Under this program, a commercial property owner can receive 50% of regular monthly rent in the form of a loan from the government. This loan will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce rent for those months by at least 75%. The property owner will then pay the additional 25% of the normal rent rate, and the tenant will pay the other remaining 25% of the normal rent rate.
- Forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of rent for eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June.
- These loans will be forgiven if the 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.
- Small business tenants would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.
- Eligibility will be limited to small business tenants or 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.