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Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

Last updated: Oct. 8, 2021 

The following is archived material.  Refer to the federal government for more information.

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program has now ended.  It has been replaced with the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Program.  Information provided here is for informational purposes only.

Rent relief is available for small businesses and commercial property owners through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.

CECRA provides unsecured, forgivable loans (up to 50%) to commercial property owners if their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who Qualifies for The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program?

To receive forgivable loans, commercial property owners must cut their tenant’s monthly rent by at least 75% in April, May and June. They must also agree not to evict the tenant during this time. UPDATE: The government extended CECRA to include rent for the months of July, August and September.

The CECRA program covers 50% of the small business tenant’s monthly rent. The commercial property owner waives 25%, and the tenant pays the remaining 25%.

Impacted small business tenants are businesses, including non-profit and charitable organizations, who have ceased operations or experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues and are paying no more than $50,000 monthly gross rent per location.

The 70% drop would be determined by comparing revenues in April, May and June of 2020 to the same period in 2019. They can also use an average of their revenues earned in January and February 2020.

Small business tenants must not earn more than $20 million in gross annual revenues.

Eligible small business tenants who are in sub-tenancy arrangements are also eligible, if these leases meet program criteria.

How Does the Program Work?

The program offers assistance for April, May, June 2020, and the program has been extended to include July, August and September 2020.

Property owners are responsible for applying and will need to provide attestations, rent, and loan forgiveness agreements.

Here’s an example of how the program works:

  • A monthly rent for a small business tenant is $10,000.
  • CECRA for small businesses will cover $5,000 (50%)
  • The small business tenant will pay $2,500 (25%)
  • The property owner waives 25% ($2,500)
  • The property owner receives up to 75% of the rent or $7,500 of rent per month for April, May and June

The program will be administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The CMHC has provided sample documents to help prepare for the application. Legal versions will be available in the portal when it opens:

  • Tenant or Sub-Tenant Attestation (tenants are responsible for attesting to their eligibility) (sample PDF)
  • Property Owner Attestation (sample PDF)
  • Rent Reduction Agreement (sample PDF)
  • Forgivable Loan Agreement (sample PDF)

How do I apply?

Both existing applicants to CECRA and new applicants are able to apply for the July, August and September rent relief.

They are reopening the application portal for new applications, along with the extensions for July and August.

If you’re a commercial property owner and you haven’t applied yet, you can apply for rent relief for April – August all at once.

Once the initial application is pre-approved, you must then opt-in for September.

If you’re already a program participant, you can log back into the portal and opt-in. You must request July and August before opting-in for the September extension.

An impacted tenant who met the April – June revenue decline will automatically qualify without the need to re-assess revenue decline for July, August and September.

In addition, the calculation of the forgivable loan and required 75% reduction of an impacted tenant’s rent will also be based on the April – June period (i.e. an average of the rent roll for that period will be used to calculate the payment due to the property owner to extend rent relief to their impacted tenant).

The deadline to submit a new application is September 30, 2020. The deadline to opt-in is October 30, 2020.

Do you need help with your applications?

If you want a team of experts to take care of the application process, FBC offers a program to determine your eligibility and handle the paperwork for 4 key federal financial support programs, including CECRA.

With our REBOOT program, our team will make sure your application forms are completed accurately, optimized for maximum benefit, properly documented, submitted quickly, and protected by FBC Audit Representation in case the CRA has questions.

So far we’ve helped our Members apply for and receive more than $4,245,000 from federal COVID-19 financial support programs.

To find out if this program is a fit for you, register for a free 15-minute eligibility assessment with FBC.

FBC Member Registration click here


Contact FBC

If you’d like to learn more about this or other COVID-19 programs for Canadian businesses, please call us at 1-800-265-1002 or email Unlimited consultation related to tax matters is a key benefit of FBC Membership. You can also book an appointment.

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre for the latest information, advice and insights for small business owners.