The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which replaced the federal government's Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, opened November 23rd, 2020. This subsidy is provided directly to tenants, and supports businesses, charities, and nonprofits that have suffered a revenue drop. Organizations that have seen a decline of 70% or more in their revenues because of the pandemic are eligible for a 65% rent subsidy. The subsidy rate declines gradually for organizations that have seen declines below 70%. Organizations are able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27th.
Despite being called a rent subsidy, CERS allows organizations to claim support for eligible expenses that go beyond rent, such as property taxes, school taxes, municipal taxes, property insurance, and commercial mortgage interest.
Qualifying organizations that have been significantly restricted by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority can receive an additional 25% of rent support through the Lockdown Support. The combined effect of the rent subsidy and the Lockdown Support is that hard-hit businesses, non-profits, and charities subject to a lockdown can receive rent support of up to 90%.
CERS and the Lockdown Support are available until June 2021.