CECRA Program & Applying for CEWS

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program & Applying for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

On April 16th, 2020, the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Program was introduced without detail, and on April 24th, 2020, a few details were provided about the program which is expected to roll-out in mid-May. The information provided is in no way complete, and we strongly suggest that commercial tenants wait for further details.

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Program –
Qualifying tenants will have April, May, and June rent obligations lowered by seventy-five percent (75%), leaving the tenants responsible for twenty-five percent (25%) of the rent for April, May, and June. The federal government will cover fifty percent (50%) of the rent for the above-mentioned three months, with the expectation that commercial landlords will bear the cost of the remaining twenty-five percent (25%). The program will be available until September 1st, 2020, so it can be applied retroactively to the rent for April, May, and June.

Qualifying tenants are/have the following:

  • A non-essential business; and
  • Rent obligation is less than (<) $50,000 per month for the relevant premises; and
  • Temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a seventy percent (70%) decrease in revenue due to COVID-19.
  • Non-profit and charitable organizations also qualify.

This program is structured as forgivable loans to commercial landlords, administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Qualifying landlords will receive loans to cover fifty percent (50%) of the rent for the months of April, May, and June 2020. These loans will be forgivable if the landlord agrees to the following:

  • To reduce the eligible tenant’s rent by at least seventy-five percent (75%) for the qualifying three months; and
  • Not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place.

As rent falls within provincial jurisdiction, the provinces and territories are working with the federal government on this program. For further information in Alberta, please go to this link: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=70162C9E4BFD8-A52A-A133-B0644E6385F3A7EA.

Applying for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) –
As of 6:00 a.m. EST, the Government of Canada’s website (www.canada.ca) launched the application process for CEWS. Businesses are now able to log-in to My Business Account and apply for CEWS. We advise you to be patient with the application process, and if possible, wait until it has been live for a while before you apply, educate yourself on this process through the Government of Canada’s website at this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html, and please do not begin until you have determined that you are in fact eligible, and have done the calculations on the spreadsheets provided at the link above. If you need assistance with the calculations, please let us know.

The current circumstances are constantly changing, therefore any information we provide is subject to change, and we will try to keep you informed as there are any new developments.  Please go directly to the CRA’s website at
https://www.canada.ca to receive the latest updates and to develop your own understanding of the information provided.  Your eligibility for any, and all, of the programs made available is solely determined by the CRA, and it is your responsibility to ensure that you make truthful and accurate declarations.  Our office is closed to the public, although we are operating within our regular office hours, and our security camera monitored front vestibule is open for pick-ups and drop-offs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. 

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