All commercial landlords can now apply for rental assistance to help their small business tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Ontario government.
This initiative was launched to help keep small businesses in operation and more people employed as the region gradually restarts the economy.
The Province, in partnership with the federal government, launched the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.
According to the province, it is committing $241 million to the program, which will provide more than $900 million in support for small businesses.
“We know that some of the necessary measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 have created significant financial hardships for small businesses,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, in a statement.
“That’s why we’ve partnered with the federal government to deliver urgent rent assistance and help both small businesses and commercial landlords make ends meet. I encourage all commercial landlords to take advantage of this benefit as soon as possible in order to provide some certainty for our small businesses.”
The rental assistance program for small businesses is being administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial landlords to help cover 50% of commercial rent for tenants for the months of April, May, and June 2020.
The tenant will be responsible for covering up to 25% of rent, so that up to 75% of the rent is covered.
To receive the forgivable loan, the province says that eligible commercial landlords will be required to enter into a rent reduction agreement with their impacted small business tenants for April to June 2020, which includes committing to a moratorium on evictions for three months.
“As Ontario’s economy gradually reopens, we will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure people and businesses across the province get the support they desperately need,” said Phillips.
To find out how much rent support you may be eligible for, visit the provincial government’s website.