On May 25, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that small businesses can now apply for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.
Under the program, property owners will retroactively reduce rent by at least 75 per cent for the months of April and May, 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.
“We all need to work together if we want our economy to come out strong after this pandemic,” said Trudeau in a statement. “This program 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. ”
The number of applicants is expected to be large. As such, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will be staggering applications. Property owners from specific provinces can apply on the following days:
Monday, May 25: Property owners who are located in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program.
Tuesday, May 26: Property owners who are located in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and the Territories, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program.
Wednesday, May 27: All other property owners in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and the Territories.
Thursday, May 28: All other property owners in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec.
Friday, May 29: All property owners across Canada.
The program is for small business tenants paying less than $50,000 per month in gross rent, with annual consolidated revenues of less than $2 million, and that have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. It will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
For more information and to apply, please visit the CMHC’s website.