OTTAWA – Chrystia Freeland, announced the government’s intention to introduce new, targeted supports to help hard-hit businesses and other organizations experiencing a drop in revenue. The government plans to introduce legislation to provide support that would help these businesses safely get through the second wave of the virus and the winter, cover costs so they can continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery, including:
- The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.
- A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy. This follows a commitment in the Speech from the Throne to provide direct financial support to businesses temporarily shut down as a result of a local public health decision.
- The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021, which would continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire their workers. The subsidy would remain at the current subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020. This measure is part of the government’s commitment to create over 1 million jobs and restore employment to the level it was before the pandemic.
- An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans—and that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic—to access an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. Additionally, the application deadline for CEBA is being extended to December 31, 2020. Further details, including the launch date and application process will be announced in the coming days. An attestation of the impact of COVID-19 on the business will be required to access the additional financing.
Pierre Poilievre, Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance, and Pat Kelly, Conservative Shadow Minister for Small Business and Western Economic Development, released the following statement regarding the announcement of a new rent relief program for Canadian businesses:
“For five months, Conservatives and entrepreneurs called for changes to the Liberals’ rent relief program so that tenants could apply directly, and for the introduction of a sliding scale instead of requiring a 70% reduction in revenue, so that more businesses could receive help. After five months of inaction, the Trudeau Liberals have finally made these changes.
“Small businesses need to know the details of government programs so they can plan for the future. There is no excuse for the Trudeau Liberals to leave these small businesses in the dark and announce a new program over a week after the previous program expired. Any changes or extensions to the rent relief program should have been announced before the previous program expired.
“The Liberals’ previous rent relief program was a disaster. It did nothing for 90 percent of small businesses in Canada and was widely criticized by entrepreneurs across the country. During this pandemic, the Liberals have continuously got emergency programs wrong for small businesses and Canadian workers have been left behind. We will review this new rent relief program to ensure that small businesses are properly supported.
“Conservatives will continue to stand up for workers and entrepreneurs across Canada. Under the leadership of Erin O’Toole, we will ensure that they get the support they need to weather this pandemic.”