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Rent assistance program for small businesses taking applications on May 25, Ottawa says

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 @ 1:05 PM | By John Chunn

The federal government on May 20 announced that application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications beginning on May 25.

According to a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) this program will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners, who in turn will give a rent reduction of at least 75 per cent for April and May (retroactive), and June, to their small business tenants.

The release adds that CECRA will provide important relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship, and is another measure that helps businesses keep Canadians on the payroll. Applications will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website beginning on May 25, and application documents can be accessed now.

“Canadians want to know that their jobs are protected and their families are safe and healthy. That’s why we’re stepping up to provide support that will keep workers on the payroll, protect middle class jobs and help Canadians recover quickly once we make it through these difficult times,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to havea profound impact on Canadians. We thank and commend the many property owners who have already taken action to help their tenants during this crisis. With CECRA, the government of Canada is stepping up to support Canada’s small businesses. The forgivable loans will significantly lower the rent for small business tenants and keep them prepared to bounce back when this crisis subsides,” said Minister of Finance Bill Morneau.