Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced significant rent relief for businesses that can’t afford to pay their landlords at a time when their operations are shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments payable by eligible small business tenants experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June.
The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged 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.
“It’s great to see the government taking a collaborative approach with commercial landlords and tenants; hopefully this will offer some short-term relief to those tenants who have been asking their landlords for support since the crisis began,” Matt Carlson, VP of Colliers Canada told Techcouver.
To be eligible for the program, impacted small business tenants must be 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.