Good news for businesses that have struggled thus far as a result of the pandemic, the federal government is providing additional assistance.
Previously, the Government of Canada implemented a rent relief program—the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program—which was widely criticized by many business owners as it required landlords to apply for it and agree to wave 25 per cent of the cost of their tenants’ rent—something many were unwilling to do.
This new program being implemented by the government—the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)—allows business owners to apply for the subsidy directly, and it will continue to provide aid for businesses in need through June 2021.
Additionally, the government has announced it will be extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, which provides assistance for employees’ wages, until June 2021.
According to a release from the Canadian Independent Federation of Businesses (CFIB), 63 per cent of business owners approve of these new programs—they believe they will provide a lifeline for many businesses that are struggling and at risk of closing their doors permanently.
As such, CFIB is urging politicians of all parties to act quickly and work together in order to enact the necessary legislation to allow businesses to begin utilizing these programs.
“We are pleased the government has incorporated CFIB’s three main recommendations into the legislation for the new rent program, including ensuring the program is independent of landlord participation, continues until June 2021 and provides support to businesses with revenue losses on a sliding scale,” Laura Jones, executive vice-president of CFIB, said in the release.
“It is also welcome news that commercial mortgage interest for firms that own their own property will be eligible for a subsidy too,” she continued.