Feds to extend small business rent relief

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The federal government announced today it is extending the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses by one month.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng made the announcement, saying application deadlines will also be extended.

The program provides forgivable loans to commercial property owners who meet the required criteria. To qualify, businesses will have to have had at least a 70 per cent revenue drop for April, May and June. This will not need to be reassessed for July, August or September. New and existing applicants are able to apply.

The forgivable loans cover 50 per cent of month rent payment for three to six months during the April-September period.

According to a government news release, the program has provided rent support thus far to 106,000 small businesses Canada-wide, which employ 994,000 workers, to the tune of $1.32 billion.

Those who have qualified so far will be able to apply soon for a one-month extension. 

B.C. Minister of Finance Carole James said, "As the CECRA program will be extended through the month of September, the Province's emergency order protecting eligible businesses from being evicted continues. The restriction will remain in place for the duration of the federal rent assistance program.”

The Canadian government announced it will post more details on the extension on the CMHC website tomorrow.