Commercial landlords can submit applications for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses, beginning Monday, May 25. Like other federal COVID-19 relief programs, the registration process will be staggered over five days. After registering on the indicated day, building owners can complete the application and upload required accompanying documentation at any time.
CECRA applicants will need a signed affirmation from each subject tenant or sub-tenant that it meets the eligibility requirements for the program, and a copy of the legally binding rent reduction agreement with each tenant. Property owners will also have to provide signed attestations of their compliance with CECRA rules and signed forgivable loan agreements.
Potential participants can begin to prepare in advance, following instructions that have now been posted on Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) website. They can also pre-register for automatic notification of when the application portal is officially open.
Small landlords with no more than 10 tenants who are based in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia are slated to launch the process on Monday, followed by small landlords in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and all Territories on Tuesday. Larger landlords, separated into the same two regional divisions, are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, while Friday will be an open day.
“We expect a large volume of applications,” the CMHC website states.
“With CECRA, the Government of Canada is stepping up to support Canada’s small businesses,” says Finance Minister Bill Morneau. “The forgivable loans will significantly lower the rent for small business tenants and keep them prepared to bounce back when this crisis subsides.”