OTTAWA ANNOUNCES RENT RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID
Apr 24, 2020
By Bob Komsic
A more than $900-million plan to be jointly funded by Ottawa, the provinces and territories, will provide non-repayable loans to commercial property owners to cover half of rent payments for April through June.
The loans, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce the rent by at least 75% for those three months, and promises not to evict the tenant.
The business must cover the remaining part of the rent, which would be up to 25%.
To be eligible, small business tenants must: pay less than $50,000-a-month in rent, have experienced a decline in revenue of at least 70% since the pandemic hit, or must have been forced to close down because of pandemic restrictions.
Non-profits and charitable organizations are also eligible.
While welcoming the relief program, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is also critical of the requirement that a business report a loss of at least 70%.
The NDP’s suggesting a ”second tier” of help for businesses that have seen a decline of between 30% and 70%.
The prime minister has said he’ll have more about rent support for larger businesses in the coming days.