Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to:

  • reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants
  • meet operating expenses on commercial properties

Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.

As part of your application, you must provide rent reduction agreement(s) and landlord and tenant attestations.





If you’re a commercial property owner and have small business tenants struggling to make their rent due to the pandemic, CECRA for small businesses may be right for you. Applying for this program can help you and your tenants.

Your property depends on the success of your tenants

If your small business tenant declares bankruptcy and you have to evict:

  • you will receive zero rental income.
  • you will continue to pay mortgage or debt costs on your property, including property tax, maintenance and other costs.
  • you’ll have to incur additional costs and go through a lengthy process — often between 6 to 18 months — to find new tenants.
  • you risk having to rent your space out at a lower cost post-pandemic.

If you have to replace a small business tenant, you end up paying a lot of cash out

  • You need to evict your tenant and may incur legal and other expenses to do so.
  • You still need to pay the mortgage on the property.
  • It generally takes about 6 months to re-lease a space.

With CECRA for small businesses, you still collect a portion of your gross rent

For a business tenant paying $10,000 per month:

  • CECRA for small businesses will cover 50% of the rent ($5,000).
  • Your tenant will pay up to 25% of the rent ($2,500).
  • You forgive 25% of the rent ($2,500).

This means you get up to 75% of the rent or $7,500 of rent per month for April, May and June.

This adds up to $22,500 over the course of the program. It also provides your tenants breathing room to recover and remain viable post-crisis.

To learn more about this program visit the CMHC’s CECRA Page.


Do you have questions about this program or need help preparing your application?