Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed early details of a planned Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program in his daily COVID-19 briefing this morning. The envisioned loan program for commercial property owners would enable them to provide small business tenants with rent discounts or forgiveness for the months of April, May and June. Some of the loans could be forgivable.
“Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. We are working with the provinces and territories to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic and we will have more details to share soon,” an accompanying statement from the Prime Minister’s office notes.
The parameters of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) have also been broadened to include businesses with payrolls in the range of $20,000 to $1.5 million. This adds both smaller and larger businesses than the loan program originally targeted.
“Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account and making sure businesses can afford their rent is the smart thing to do,” Trudeau maintains. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and will keep our economy strong in this uncertain time.”