PM Trudeau announced today that he would be instituting a Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program to provide support to small businesses to help with their rent for the months of April, May and June. The program will provide loans, including some forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who are then to either lower or forgo the rent for small businesses during these months. To implement this program, the federal government will be working with the provinces and territories, as they govern rental relationships. Trudeau mentioned that he hopes to have more details to share very soon.
The federal government is also opening up the eligibility criteria the Canada Emergency Business Account. The program, targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses, offers government-guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 to cover the costs of keeping their enterprise afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. If the company can repay the balance of the loan by the end of 2022, up to $10,000 will be forgiven. The current eligibility requires applicants to prove that they paid between $50,000 and $1 million in payroll in 2019, leaving out some businesses on either side of these figures. Now, companies who paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 will be eligible to receive a loan.