Federal Government Introduces Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will provide rent relief to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Categories: Business Insights
May 14th, 2020 | By: CapriCMW

With businesses across Canada forced to signficantly limit or shut down operations, dramatic reductions in revenue and ongoing expenses have left many struggling to stay afloat. The federal government has introduced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, which will provide rent relief to small businesses that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CECRA Details

To be administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, this program is a partnership between the federal government and the provinces and territories. For the months of April, May and June:

  • Eligible commercial landlords will enter rent reduction agreements to lower monthly gross rent by 75%.
  • Forgivable loans equally 50% of the rent will be provided to landlords under CECRA.
  • Landlords will absorb 25% of the rent and agree to a moratorium on evictions.
  • Tenants will be responsible for 25% of the rent.


Landlords must:

  • own commercial property that is mortgaged and generates rental revenue from one or more small business tenants that have been affected by COVID-19
  • have declared rental income on a personal or corporate tax return for the tax years of 2018 and/or 2019
  • refund amounts above the required 25% of gross rent already paid by tenants for the eligibility period (i.e. by applying a credit for a future month)
  • not seek to recover abated amounts from tenants after completion of the program

Tenants must be small businesses, non-profit or charitable organizations that:

  • pay up to $50,000 per month in monthly gross rent
  • generate up to $20 million in gross annual revenues
  • have ceased operations or experienced a 70% reduction in revenue

Revenue loss can be measured by comparing revenues in April, May and June 2020 to the same months in 2019 or an average of revenues in January and February 2020.

The program is voluntary and the applicants must be the property owners. Tenants wishing to participate are encouraged to discuss with their landlords.

The application process is expected to open in the second half of May 2020. Landlords can apply for CECRA retroactively as long as they can prove eligibility during the three-month period. The deadline to apply is August 31, 2020.

For information and resources on insurance and risk management for commercial properties, contact a CapriCMW Risk Advisor.


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