may rent toronto

75% of downtown Toronto business owners say they won't be able to pay May rent

Most downtown business owners in Toronto won't be able to pay rent this May according to a survey done by a neighbourhood business association.

The Corktown Residents and Business Association conducted a survey of 43 business owners over a ten-day period from March 26 to April 4. 75 per cent responded that they cannot pay May rent, and almost 30 per cent have not yet paid April.

We've been in contact with Elected Officials at all 3 levels of government in recent weeks. Now we're showing them the...

Posted by Corktown Toronto on Thursday, April 9, 2020

"The Province needs to implement a Commercial Rent Freeze immediately," says Aaron Binder, President of the Corktown Residents and Business Association. "Commercial Landlords are still expecting businesses to pay up after being shut down."

Responses to the survey indicate that adaptive measures like new revenue models, cost-cutting strategies, and offering takeout, delivery, pre-payment or online services have not been successful for most businesses.

While nine in ten business owners had tried to make at least one change to generate revenue, only one in ten felt these measures were effective.

Small businesses are now fighting for survival. A commercial rent freeze needs to happen NOW if we hope to save the...

Posted by Corktown Toronto on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

"Our analysis of financials with business owners indicates that these measures will not be nearly enough on their own to cover fixed costs," say the survey results. "Nine out of ten have tried some measure to reduce costs, including one third have limited hours, one half have delayed payments."

The survey also found that one in five business owners don't qualify for loans or aren't sure if they do and that four out of ten have applied or will apply for loans, but one in five business owners are not willing to take a loan (i.e. go into debt) to continue paying operating costs.

"Several respondents indicated difficulty getting any cooperation from commercial landlords on negotiating rent," the survey results say. "This is a consistent theme we have heard across the community."

Overall, three quarters of businesses responding reported an 80 per cent drop in revenue, even businesses remaining open reporting a decline in revenue of more than 40 per cent in March.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Here's what Toronto store owners think of people who won't wear face masks

Toronto is reopening Riverdale Farm and High Park Zoo

Ontario just drastically expanded the limit on social gatherings

Toronto to remain in Stage 2 of reopening while much of the province moves on to Stage 3

Here's the official list of businesses that can and can't reopen under Stage 3 in Ontario

Here's what the Comet Neowise looks like over the skies of Toronto

People are tired of CP24 posting mugshot photos of Black victims of gun violence

150 cats rescued from Toronto home