Earlier last week the Canadian government has extended the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) to provide relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Originally the program covers the months of April, May and June. The federal government worked with the provinces to extend the program into July 2020.
What is CECRA?
The CECRA provides unsecured forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to reduce the rent owed by their small business tenants that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is also intended to help owners meet operating expenses on commercial properties. The CECRA, which is being administered through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), allows the federal and provincial governments to help cover 50 percent of the rent, with tenants and landlords paying the outstanding amount.
Eligibility for extension
Only those tenants approved in the April, May and June application are eligible for the July 2020 extension. If a business had an average revenue decline of 70% or more in April, May and June, they are deemed eligible for the additional month of rent relief. However, not all tenants in the original application need to be included for the July extension.