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COVID–19: CECRA for small businesses

CECRA for small businesses helps commercial property owners pay mortgages and reduce tenant rent.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June 2020.

To qualify for CECRA for small businesses, the property owner must meet the following requirements:

· You own property that generates rental revenue from commercial real property located in Canada.

· You are the property owner of the commercial real property where the impacted small business tenants are located.

· You have a mortgage loan secured by the commercial real property, occupied by one or more small business tenants. *

· You have entered or will enter into a rent reduction agreement for the period of April, May, and June 2020, that will reduce impacted small business tenant’s rent by at least 75%.

· Your rent reduction agreement with impacted tenants includes a moratorium on eviction for the period of April, May and June 2020.

· You have declared rental income on your tax return (personal or corporate) for tax years 2018 and/or 2019.

* For those property owners who do not have a mortgage, an alternative mechanism will be implemented. Further information will be outlined in the near future.

CECRA for small businesses is applicable to commercial property owners with:

· eligible small business tenants

· eligible small business subtenants

· residential components and multi-unit residential properties with commercial tenants (i.e. mixed usage)

What is an impacted small business tenant or subtenant?

Impacted small business tenants are businesses, including non-profit and charitable organizations who:

· pay no more than $50,000 in monthly gross rent per location (as defined by a valid and enforceable lease agreement),

· generate no more than $20 million in gross annual revenues, calculated on a consolidated basis (at the ultimate parent level), and

· have temporarily ceased operations (i.e. generating no revenues), or has experienced at least a 70% decline in pre-COVID-19 revenues. **

** To measure revenue loss, small businesses can compare revenues in April, May and June of 2020 to that of the same month of 2019. They can also use an average of their revenues earned in January and February of 2020.

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