ontario rent relief

Small businesses in Ontario can finally get rent relief from their landlords

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this morning that small businesses will be able to get 75 per cent of their rent covered thanks to the new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA), and now the Ontario government has indicated that they're partnering with the federal government and providing $241 million to businesses in Ontario through the program. 

In total, more than $900 million in provincial-federal relief will be provided to help businesses make it through these trying financial times and reopen when the pandemic is over. 

"The vast majority of Ontario's small businesses and landlords are struggling during this extraordinary public health emergency," said Ford in a statement. "That's why we are doing everything we can to support them through these tough economic times, so they can hit the ground running when we are in a position to open up the provincial economy."

Eligible commercial property owners that are experiencing rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted will be able to access forgivable loans through the OCECRA.

The loans will cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments, but they'll only be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce the rental costs of small business tenants for April to June by at least 75 per cent and commits to a moratorium on evictions for three months.

Impacted small business tenants are those paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues, according to a release from the federal government. The support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

The provincial government's investment in this plan is part of their larger approach to supporting businesses throughout the pandemic, called Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

They're spending a total of $10 billion on a number of initiatives to help support jobs and the economy in Ontario, including reducing taxes, eliminating penalties and interest for businesses who miss filing or remittance deadlines, postponing the planned property tax reassessment for 2021, implementing the new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit and more.

"To help stop the spread of COVID-19, businesses have closed their doors and employees have stayed home and that has been working, but it has also created significant financial hardship," said Minister of Finance Rod Phillips in a statement.

"By subsidizing rent payments, reducing taxes, extending deadlines, and eliminating penalties and interest, we're helping to ensure businesses can start up quickly when the time is right."

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