OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new measures to support businesses on April 16, including the introduction of a rent-assistance program.

The federal government plans to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses, which will seek to provide loans — including forgivable loans — to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May and June.

Implementing this new program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments and efforts are being made to increase rent support for businesses that are most impacted by the pandemic.

The announcement also included an expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million.

Since launching the CEBA on April 9, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses.

“By making the CEBA more accessible and introducing new measures to support businesses, we’re positioning them to be ready for the recovery that will come,” says Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance. “We will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure that Canadians are supported through the outbreak and that our economy remains resilient during these challenging times.”


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