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FEDERAL UPDATE: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for
Small Businesses (CECRA)

Update provided by: Jason Easton, Chief of Staff Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 percent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The government is also providing further details on the program:

·         The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 percent 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 percent 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. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 percent 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 percent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

 

The government continues to assess and respond to the impacts of COVID-19, and stands ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

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