ACTA is commending the federal government’s announcement that commercial rents would be eligible for relief as part of the new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance –CECRA.
Wendy Paradis, president of the association, said that: “Rent has been one of the most significant expense issues identified by ACTA travel agency members. With the federal government’s announcement of an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the CECRA for small businesses, it should help those storefront travel agencies weather impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
That program lowers rent by 75% for businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent which have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues. Travel agencies will have to work with their landlord as it is expected that the CECRA will not be operational until mid-May. Further details will be announced soon.
Said Paradis: “The caveat is that tenants who need rent relief can only get help if their landlords join the program — and currently there is no national ban on commercial evictions.”
She pointed out that: “New Brunswick is the only province to have banned commercial evictions under its state of emergency. ACTA along with a number of other associations will continue to lobby the federal government and other provincial governments to follow New Brunswick’s lead.”
The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June. The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.
Paradis added: “ACTA will also continue to lobby the government on the fact that our industry will lag behind other industries in recovery and an extension of this program will be required.”
Go to www.acta.ca for more.