Feds to provide direct rent subsidy to businesses, extend revamped wage program

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The federal government announced a new, direct emergency rent subsidy for businesses on Friday, while extending a revamped wage subsidy program until December as parts of Canada cope with a second wave of COVID-19.

“We’re at a tipping point in this pandemic. Not only is the second wave underway, yesterday we hit the highest daily recorded cases, well above what we saw this spring,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said as Ontario reported 939 new cases of COVID-19, a daily record.

“Today, we are announcing new support for Canadian businesses, so that they can keep workers on the job, and get through the coming months,” he added.

“Even if many businesses have now reopened, most are not back to full capacity, while many others are facing the uncertainty of a second wave. Our goal is to support Canadian employers and help businesses bridge to better times.”

The federal government is updating support for commercial rent and mortgage payments with a new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. It will provide support to businesses directly, not through landlords.

“Businesses who’ve seen a revenue drop, the new rent subsidy can support up to 65 per cent of eligible expenses and up to 90 per cent for businesses temporarily shut down by a mandatory second wave public health order,” Trudeau said.

“At the same time, we are extending the wage subsidy at a rate of up to 65 per cent of eligible wages to December, and expanding the Canada emergency business account for those small businesses that need it, including with an additional $10,000 forgivable loan.”

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said businesses that have had revenue drop by less than 70 per cent will see a gradually-decreasing level of support in line with the decline in their revenues.


The federal government will also work to target financial support directly to businesses that have temporarily shut down as a result of local public health directions.

“We know the second wave will be even harder for those who get hit. That’s why our response needs to be targeted and effective,” Trudeau added.

“Small and large businesses create jobs, drive our economy, and make our communities stronger. Our government will continue to do whatever it takes to support them.”

Trudeau also said the federal government will provide $37 million more to the territories as part of a restart agreement reached this past summer, while an additional $41 million will go towards ensuring essential air services to remote communities in the north.

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