UPDATE: CECRA has been extended for August. This is good news, but adjustments must be made to Canada’s commercial rent relief program to make it more impactful.
Retail Council of Canada (RCC) maintains that rent relief is a priority issue for retailers of all sizes as those with severely reduced revenues continue to have difficulty in paying their rent. With the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program coming to an end on July 31, 2020, we recognize that some retailers have benefited from the program, but regrettably, as we’ve flagged repeatedly, ongoing store closures remain inevitable as many landlords across the county have ignored the voluntary nature of the program.
RCC has received no indication that the CECRA program will be extended or adjusted, although with some sources reporting that less than 10 percent of the funding has been spent, an announcement could still be forthcoming. RCC has attempted to persuade the federal government to establish a more appropriate process of providing rent relief directly to the tenants who need it, however, our expectation is that there will be no further reiteration of CECRA.
Instead, we fully expect the government to focus all efforts on the recently announced extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This program now contains a number of key transformations for RCC members and is the make-or-break tool to retain and hire back more than a million employees across Canada.
Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada
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About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were $377 billion in 2018. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org