The federal government is taking action to protect Canadians and businesses from the impacts of the global pandemic through its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau has announced that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) will be extended by one month to help eligible small business pay rent for August. All provinces and territories continue to participate in this initiative, and collaborate with the federal government to provide rent supports to those small businesses most in need.
Despite the gradual lifting of restrictions and re-opening of businesses across the country, many small businesses continue to require assistance with their fixed costs to support them as they adapt to a new reality. This extension will help provide Canadian small businesses most impacted by the shutdown with an extended bridge to recovery.
“As a lot of small businesses across the country are gradually and safely reopening, further support is needed for those businesses hardest hit. The COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is working, and we’ve listened to the concerns of small businesses, and we are extending the rent relief provided through the CECRA by an additional month,” said Morneau.
Across the country, thousands of small businesses who were forced to close or were especially hard hit have been able to use CECRA to help cover rent and position themselves to stay open and grow their revenues as the economy reopens. The government encourages property owners to continue to make use of CECRA for eligible tenants, and to work to provide flexibility where possible to their tenants as they recover from the crisis.
As of July 30, 2020, 63,000 small business tenants have been supported, representing over 616,000 employees, for a total of over $613 million in rent support. Additionally, CMHC is working with large property owners to help provide CECRA to more than 20,000 small businesses. Thousands of new applications continue to be regularly submitted, demonstrating a strong interest in CECRA from property owners and small business tenants and the importance of this one month extension as businesses get through this challenging period.