Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Businesses
Update (week of September 8, 2020): The Government announced that it is extending the CECRA by another month to help small businesses pay rent for September. Application has also been extended to accomodate this extension.
1. What is the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)? The CECRA is a program for small businesses affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. This program will lower rent paid by these small businesses by 75%.
2. Who are eligible? As mentioned, the CECRA is for small businesses affected by COVID 19. These small businesses will be eligible if they are paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues. This program will also available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
3. How does this program work? First, forgivable loans will be provided through this program to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of 3 monthly rent payments payable by eligible small business tenants who are financial struggling during April, May, June and July (program was extended by 1 month to cover July rent). The loans will then be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement. The agreement must include a term that the tenant will not be evicted. The remainder of the rent, up to 25%, will then be covered by the small business tenant.
4. When will this program start? The CECRA will be open for applications starting May 25, 2020.
5. How can you apply? Applications will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website. More details here: CMHC Website