Updated May 25, 2020
On April 16, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new program to support small businesses by providing rental assistance for the months of April, May, and June: the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA).
This program is administered by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, on behalf of the Government of Canada.
The program will seek to provide loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April, May, and June.
The loans will be forgiven if the property owner reduces their tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the months of April, May, and June, under a rent forgiveness agreement.
The tenant would be responsible for up to 25% of their rent, the lessor would be responsible for 25%, and the federal government loan will cover the remaining 50%.
In order to apply for the program, the property owner must meet the following eligibility requirements:
In order to apply for the program, the tenant must meet the following eligibility requirements:
If rent has been collected at the time of approval, a credit to the tenant for a future month’s rent (i.e. July for April) is acceptable if agreed upon by both the property owner and the tenant. This can be a flexible 3-month period.
As per the CMHC: “CECRA for small businesses loans will be forgiven if the property owner complies with all applicable program terms and conditions including to not seek to recover rent abatement amounts after the program is over.”
The property owner must apply, and the deadline for application will be August 31, 2020. Applications will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) website.
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