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April 25, 2020

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

On April 24, 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the federal government reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses. The provinces and territories will cost share up to 25% of the costs with the federal government, subject to terms of agreements with the federal government. This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The federal government has provided the following details on the program:

  • 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 must 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.
  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will administer and deliver the CECRA.
  • It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May, with commercial property owners lowering the rents of their small business tenants payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.

Further details are expected to follow. We will keep this page updated with the latest developments.

The full news release can be found here.

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Resource posted April 25, 2020, with reports from Aron Grusko