Government Announces New Extension of Rent Relief for Small Businesses

News release

July 31, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is taking strong, immediate and effective action to protect Canadians and businesses from the impacts of the global pandemic through its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) will be extended by one month to help eligible small business pay rent for August. All provinces and territories continue to participate in this initiative, and collaborate with the federal government to provide rent supports to those small businesses most in need.

Despite the gradual lifting of restrictions and re-opening of businesses across the country, many small businesses continue to require assistance with their fixed costs to support them as they adapt to a new reality. This extension will help provide Canadian small businesses most impacted by the shutdown with an extended bridge to recovery.

Across the country, thousands of small businesses who were forced to close or were especially hard hit have been able to use CECRA to help cover rent and position themselves to stay open and grow their revenues as the economy reopens. The government encourages property owners to continue to make use of CECRA for eligible tenants, and to work to provide flexibility where possible to their tenants as they recover from the crisis.

As of July 30, 2020, 63,000 small business tenants have been supported, representing over 616,000 employees, for a total of over $613 million in rent support. Additionally, CMHC is working with large property owners to help provide CECRA to more than 20,000 small businesses. Thousands of new applications continue to be regularly submitted, demonstrating a strong interest in CECRA from property owners and small business tenants and the importance of this one month extension as businesses get through this challenging period.

The government will continue to help ensure Canadians have what they need to pay their bills and keep their families safe and healthy during these challenging times.


“As a lot of small businesses across the country are gradually and safely reopening, further support is needed for those businesses hardest hit. The COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is working, and we’ve listened to the concerns of small businesses, and we are extending the rent relief provided through the CECRA by an additional month.

- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

“We need to continue supporting our small business owners because we know things are still tough – and the cost of rent remains a major expense for our entrepreneurs and small business owners. That’s why we’re extending the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance to include the month of August. Businesses and shops can rest assured that this rent relief will be there for them as they reopen and rebuild in the weeks to come.”

- Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Quick facts

  • Those who qualified for the CECRA based on existing program parameters will be able to apply soon for the additional one month based on having a 70 per cent revenue decline for April, May and June, without reassessing whether they continue to have a 70 per cent revenue decline in July or August. Participation in the one-month extension is voluntary. Both existing applicants to the CECRA and new applicants are able to opt for the August rent reduction. This program is designed to support businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic while encouraging them to reopen when possible.

  • The CECRA provides forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners, whether they have a mortgage on their property or not. The loans cover 50 per cent of three to five monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants during April, May, June, July and August.

  • The loans will be forgiven if the qualifying property owner agrees to reduce their small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent under a rent reduction agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.

  • Existing applicants need to reapply for the month of August and have until September 14, 2020 to do so. New applicants have the choice of applying for the three-month initial period, four months or five months, but need to do so by the original date of August 31, 2020.

  • Eligible small business tenants are businesses that are paying less than $50,000 per month in gross rent in a given location, with annual revenues of less than $20 million (at the ultimate parent level), and who have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues on average for April, May and June.

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Media may contact:

Maéva Proteau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

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