Storefronts in Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood are reflected in a sign indicating the temporary closure of a business to prevent the spread of COVID-19, on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The pandemic has meant a slew of commercial renters — from the country’s smallest businesses to the behemoths — have had to have a tough conversation with their landlord about how they are unable to cover rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Storefronts in Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood are reflected in a sign indicating the temporary closure of a business to prevent the spread of COVID-19, on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The pandemic has meant a slew of commercial renters — from the country’s smallest businesses to the behemoths — have had to have a tough conversation with their landlord about how they are unable to cover rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

The federal commercial rent relief program opened for applications Monday (May 25), as officials urged landlords to apply.

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) will see government cover 50 per cent of the rent, with tenants paying 25 per cent and landlords forgiving another 25 per cent. Property owners must also offer a 75 per cent discount on rent for the months of April, May and June to qualify. Small business tenants must pay no more than $50,000 in gross monthly rent per location, generate no more than $20 million in gross annual revenues and have had a 70 per cent drop in revenues due to COVID-19. The application portal is available here: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business.

Speaking at a Monday press conference, Treasury Board president Jean-Yes Duclos said landlords should apply for the program because if the evict tenants they will get no rental income, versus 75 per cent of the reduced rent from government and their tenants.

The program will be phased in day by day. Property owners with up to 10 tenants in B.C., Alberta, Atlantic Canada and Quebec can apply Monday, while other provinces and territories can apply throughout the week. Property owners in those provinces with more than 10 tenants can apply on Thursday, while the applications will be open to all regions on Friday.

READ MORE: Trudeau unveils forgivable loans for landlords in small business rent relief program


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