The Government of Canada has released additional details about the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, which will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses affected by COVID-19.

The program will provide qualifying commercial property owners with forgivable loans to cover 50 per cent of monthly rents payable by small business tenants experiencing financial hardships during April, May and June.

The loans will be forgiven if the commercial property owner agrees to reduce their small business tenant’s rent by at least 75 per cent for three months under a rent forgiveness agreement. The agreement must also 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 per cent of the rent for the months of April, May and June.

To qualify, the small business tenants must be:

  • paying less than $50,000 per month in rent; and
  • have either temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID revenues.

This support is also available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

The program will be administered and delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May.

Learn more about the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program.