Feds unveil rent relief program

Feds unveil the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN Trudeau announced a new rent relief program today to help businesses forced to shut down due to COVID-19.

The plan will provide loans to cover up to 75 per cent of the rental cost through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

A portion of the loan will be non-repayable.

Small- and medium-sized businesses, most of them shuttered since mid-March, have been clamouring for relief as the May 1 deadline for their next rent payment looms.

Trudeau, announcing the formalization of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program, said a deal with all provinces and territories will see commercial rents lowered by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been badly impacted by COVID-19. The move will apply to April, May and June payments.

The government will cover 50 per cent of the reduction, Trudeau said, with the property owner covering the rest.

If your business pays less than $50,000 a month on rent and has been struggling due to the pandemic, you will be eligible, Trudeau said. The move also applies to non-profits and charities. Trudeau said the government will add more in the coming days about support on rent for bigger businesses.

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