Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to:
Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.
To qualify for CECRA for small businesses, the commercial property owner must:
NOTE: CECRA for small businesses doesn’t apply to any federal, provincial, or municipal-owned properties.
* Commercial Real Property is defined as commercial properties with small business tenants. Commercial properties with a residential component and multi-unit residential mixed-use properties would equally be eligible with respect to their small business tenants.
IMPORTANT: CECRA for small businesses is administered undifferentiated for properties with mortgages, other forms of debt or no mortgages at all.
What is an impacted small business tenant?
Impacted small business tenants are businesses — including non-profit and charitable organizations — that:
NOTE: Eligible small business tenants who are in sub-tenancy arrangements are also eligible, if these lease structures meet program criteria.
** Small businesses can compare revenues in April, May and June of 2020 to that of the same period in 2019 to measure revenue losses. They can also use an average of their revenues earned in January and February of 2020.
CMHC administers CECRA for small business on behalf of the Government of Canada and our provincial and territorial partners.
The program offers assistance for the months of April, May and June 2020.
*** If rent has been collected at the time of approval, a credit to the tenant for a future month’s rent (i.e. July for April) is acceptable — if agreed upon by both the property owner and the tenant. This can be a flexible 3-month period.
The deadline to apply is August 31, 2020.
CMHC will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners. Funds will be transferred to the property owner’s financial institution.
Note: If you are a tenant and struggling to pay your portion, alternate programs are available to assist you.
CECRA for small businesses loans will be forgiven if the property owner complies with all applicable program terms and conditions — including to not recover forgiven rent amounts when the program is over.
The application process is anticipated to open in the second half of May 2020. It will be open to eligible property owners.
The online application process will include both fillable fields and templates of the documents required. Property owners will need to provide information to prove eligibility including:
More program details will be provided soon — including when and how to apply for CECRA for small businesses.