COVID-19

Small Businesses Hit by COVID-19 Offered Rent Relief into June

Program covers 50% of rent, provided landlord drops it by 75%

By Sean Craig
April 25, 2020
COVID-19

Small Businesses Hit by COVID-19 Offered Rent Relief into June

Program covers 50% of rent, provided landlord drops it by 75%

By Sean Craig
Apr 25, 2020
Closed businesses along Johnson Street (Sean Craig for The Capital)
COVID-19

Small Businesses Hit by COVID-19 Offered Rent Relief into June

Program covers 50% of rent, provided landlord drops it by 75%

By Sean Craig
April 25, 2020
Small Businesses Hit by COVID-19 Offered Rent Relief into June
Closed businesses along Johnson Street (Sean Craig for The Capital)

BC small businesses that have shut down or are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for relief that would reduce their rent by 75% in April, May and June.

The province announced Friday that businesses will receive $300 million, about $80 million of it from the provincial government, through the new federal-provincial Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program.

The program will offer forgivable loans, which will cover 50% of an eligible small business’ rent, to their commercial landlord on the condition that the landlord agrees to reduce rent by at least 75% and not evict their tenant during the three month period.

To be eligible, a small business must have a monthly rent of $50,000 or less and have either temporarily shut down operations or seen a 70% or greater decline in revenues during the pandemic.

Businesses in Victoria’s downtown area — where closed storefronts have been papered over and boarded up amid rising break-ins and vandalism — have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Downtown Victoria Business Association executive director Jeff Bray told The Capital that many retail businesses in the city core are one major expense away from going out of business.

The federal government will administer the program through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and applications will be opened in mid-May.

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