Update: Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance

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April 24, 2020

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.

–  The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). This will help ensure businesses are ready to reopen once emergency measures are lifted.

–  This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

–  The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% 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% 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% of the rent.

Eligibility:

–  Businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations

–  Businesses who have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

–  Support for larger businesses will be announced in the coming days.

The CECRA  is expected to be operational by mid-May, with commercial property owners lowering the rents of their small business tenant’s payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.

This program will be administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and will be available until September 30, 2020. Support would be retroactive to April 1, covering April, May and June 2020.

More info to follow.

Implications for eligible tenants and landlords

Example: $100 in monthly rent

– Tenant pays $25
– Landlord forgives $25
– Government provides landlord $50 forgiveable loan

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