OTTAWA — Eligible Canadian small businesses affected by COVID-19 will be able to access money to help cover July rent payments.
The federal and provincial governments have agreed to extend the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program and made a few changes to it.
According to the federal finance department, the program will no longer clawback the costs of insurance proceeds and provincial rent supports from the forgivable loans for current and new applicants.
Previous clawback amounts will be given back to landlords that previously received loans through the program.
As well, those who qualified for loans by showing revenue declines of 70 per cent in April, May or June will qualify anew without being reassessed on whether their earnings have dropped that much in July.
As of June 21, the program has provided more than $150 million in forgivable loans to landlords who agreed to give a rent break to more than 20,000 business tenants.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business had said that many small businesses believed they couldn’t afford rent for July unless the Liberals extended the program.
The rent assistance program covers 75 per cent of the rent for small businesses, Of that, the federal government and provinces pay half through the benefit, while the landlord is expected to cover 25 percent.
The tenant pays the rest, and can access other programs such as CEBA for additional assistance.