Federal government announces new rent subsidy program for businesses

Oct 9 2020, 10:59 am

As Canada deals with a “tipping point” in the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced further support for businesses.

On Friday, Trudeau said that while many businesses have reopened, “most are not back to full capacity, while many others are facing the uncertainty of a second wave.”

“We are 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.”

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.

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.”

Speaking at the announcement, 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.”

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