Feds announce more help as small businesses say they’re struggling to make rent

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The federal government is offering more help for landlords and cash-strapped small business owners who can’t come up with their rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program will cover 75 per cent of the rent for small businesses.

The federal government and provinces are paying half through the benefit, while the landlord is expected to cover 25 percent. The tenant will pay the rest, and can access other programs such as CEBA for additional assistance.

“This benefit will provide forgivable loans to landlords so that they can reduce by 75 per cent the rent for small business tenants that have lost the majority of their revenue because of COVID-19,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.

Applications open next week, on May 25.

The announcement comes as half of small business owners in Canada tell the Canadian Federation of Independent Business they’re worried they won’t be able to make rent on June 1. According to the CFIB’s survey, 55 per cent said additional relief could be the deciding factor in whether or not they shut down for good.


Trudeau said businesses should receive relief “quickly” once the application portal is launched.

“These are challenging times, but together we can protect jobs and make sure that our economy bounces back. That will be good for everyone,” the prime minister added.

In addition to help for small- and mid-size businesses, the federal government also launched more aid for large corporations on Wednesday.

The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) program was announced last week, aimed at providing short-term bridge financing to companies with $300-million or more in annual revenues looking for loans worth at least $60 million but unable to secure them from banks or other private lenders.

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