Are your COVID-19 government benefits coming to end? We have the information you need to prepare.
During this time of economic uncertainty, many businesses are in financial strife. As such the government of Canada has implemented a number of measures to keep these businesses from closing down. In particular, small and medium-sized businesses, as they are the key drivers of growth in the economy and make-up to 99% of all businesses in Canada. In addition to the current financial support offered to businesses, The Canadian Government recently announced a new program, the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA).
What Is CECRA?
The CECRA is a rent relief program created by the Government of Canada in collaboration with the provincial and territorial governments that regulate relationships between owners and tenants. The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) is a government program that will lower the rent by 75% for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Meaning you will only have to pay up to 25% of your rent if you are eligible.
How Does CECRA Work?
According to the Government of Canada, the program works by providing loans (that do not need to be repaid) to commercial property owners. These loans are meant to cover 50% of rent payments for eligible small business tenants experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic during the months of April, May, and June. These loans will be forgiven on the condition that the commercial property owner reduces your rent by at least 75% and agrees to not evict you during those three months. This would thereby allow you to only pay up to 25% of your rent.
To put it simply, the government will cover 50% of your rent, 25% will be covered by your property owner, and the last 25% is being paid by you. Though it may not be the best plan for the property owners, it is better than having the business shut down and receive no more payments. Especially, considering the economic situation and the likelihood of finding a new tenant.
Who Is Eligible For The 75% Rent Relief?
Though more information regarding the CECRA is still to be announced, we do know that businesses must at least have the following to be considered:
- Paying less than $50,000 in rent per month
- Must have a drop in revenue of at least 70% due to COVID-19 during April, May, and June.
- Have temporarily stopped operations
Along with small businesses, charities, and non-profit organizations will also be allowed to apply for this financial support.
How Long Will The Rent Relief Be Applicable For?
This government predicts this program to be implemented by mid-May and would cover rent for three consecutive months (i.e: May, June, July).
How Do You Apply For the Rent Relief?
This program will be made available through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) sometime in mid-May. Information regarding the application process and more is not yet available but will be soon. We will update this page as more information becomes available.
The announcement of the CECRA was made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, April 24, 2020. As such, the final details regarding the terms and conditions of the program will likely trickle through until mid-May when the program is expected to be operational. Until then, you can check out the other financial programs offered by the government for businesses.
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