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Business rent reduction program could bring some relief

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a rent relief program Friday to help businesses forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan would lower rent by up to 75 per cent for eligible small business tenants paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations, or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.

Tenants would pay a quarter, the property owner a quarter, and the federal government and provinces cost-share the remaining 50 per cent.

Many small businesses have been shuttered since mid-March and have been hoping for a relief program instead of seeking more debt through earlier announced loan programs, unable to take on further debt.

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses is to provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments – retroactively for April, and May and June.

The loans will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a pledge not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place.

Filed Under: Local News

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