After Trudeau announced earlier this fall that Canada would be “updating support for commercial rent and mortgage payments with the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, [which] will provide support to businesses directly, not through landlords,” applications are now open.
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Under the old rent relief program – which expired in September – relief came to businesses through the landlords, who were not required to participate in the program.
Here’s how businesses can apply for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy:
Trudeau said that for businesses that have seen a revenue drop, the new rent subsidy “can support up to 65% of eligible expenses, and up to 90% for businesses temporarily shut down by a mandatory second wave public health order.”
To be eligible to receive the rent subsidy, you must meet all four of the following criteria – you:
Meet at least one of these conditions:
- You had a CRA business number on September 27, 2020 or
- You had a payroll account on March 15, 2020, or another person or partnership made payroll remittances on your behalf or
- You purchased the business assets of another person or partnership who meets condition 2 above, and have made an election under the special asset acquisition rules These special asset acquisition rules are the same for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or
- You meet other prescribed conditions that might be introduced
Note: there are no prescribed conditions at this time
If you don’t have a business number but you qualify under condition b or c, you will need to set one up before you are able to apply for CERS.
You do not need a payroll account to apply for CERS.
Are an eligible business, charity, or non-profit (eligible entity)
If your business, charity, or non-profit is related to another eligible entity, you may be considered an “affiliated entity.” This may affect your calculations for the subsidy.
Experienced a drop in revenue
Your drop in revenue is calculated by comparing your eligible revenue during the reference period with your eligible revenue from a previous period (baseline revenue).
There is no minimum revenue drop required to qualify for the subsidy. The rate your revenue has dropped is only used to calculate how much subsidy you receive for these periods. After you have read about the expenses you can claim, you can use the online calculator to find your revenue drop while calculating how much subsidy you may receive. You can read the in-depth details of how the revenue drop is calculated. A CERS application must be filed no later than 180 days after the end of a claim period.
Have eligible expenses
To apply for CERS, you must have a qualifying property. Only certain expenses you pay for qualifying properties are eligible for CERS.
Speaking about the new measures in September, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland stressed that this new support will not apply to everyone; rather, it will be a “targeted” benefit for those who need it most.
“Some businesses are able to work at full capacity despite COVID 19, and they are doing well, and that’s great,” said Freeland.
The new measures “will help those who need it most, at the times when they need it,” she added. “Our government is building a bridge for businesses to get through the pandemic. That will mean our economy is able to come roaring back after we have defeated the coronavirus.”