Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance applications open next week

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance applications open next week
Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday, April 3, 2020.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the application portal for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will open next week.

The program, which was initially announced in April, is aimed at helping small businesses pay their landlords amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government will begin accepting applications starting Monday, May 25, according to the prime minister.

“Once this launches, you’ll receive your relief quickly,” assured Prime Minister Trudeau.

The CECRA provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. The program offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants.

During his routine press conference outside of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Wednesday, Trudeau said the program will have federal and provincial governments cover 50 per cent of the rent, landlords absorb 25 per cent and the tenants cover the remaining cost.

This adds up to a total of 75 per cent of rent reductions for small businesses.

“These are challenging times, but together we can protect jobs and make sure our economy bounces back. That will be good for everyone,” said Trudeau.

To be eligible for the CECRA, small business tenants must pay less than $50,000 per month for commercial rent and have experienced a decline of 70 per cent or more as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The application portal can be found online at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.

Trudeau also hinted that additional help would be on the way for larger retailers, but said details will be released at a later date.

In addition to help for small businesses, the federal government also launched financial assistance for Canada’s large corporations on Wednesday.

The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) program, which was announced last week, provides bridge loans to companies with $300 million or more in annual revenues. It was announced by the federal government that applications for this bridge financing are now available.

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