COVID-19: New Rent Subsidy and Business Grants



Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)


The Federal Government has outlined a new relief program to support tenants and property owners affected by COVID-19 that replaces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program (CECRA). The new rent subsidy, called the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), is proposed to apply from September 27, 2020 until June 2021.


Eligibility for the subsidy is based on the change in the eligible entity’s monthly revenue, year-over-year, for the applicable calendar month. An alternative approach is available for an entity to choose to calculate its revenue decline by comparing its current reference month revenues with that of the average of January and February 2020 revenues. Below is the table from the government’s backgrounder outlining the available periods and approaches:



CERS will subsidize a percentage of eligible organizations’ expenses on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65% of eligible expenses, until December 19th 2020. Below is another table from the government’s backgrounder showing the expected subsidy rates by revenue decline:



Eligible expenses include commercial rent, property taxes, property insurance, and interest on commercial mortgages. Expenses for each period will be capped at $75,000 per location and $300,000 overall. Eligible entities include individuals, taxable corporations and trusts, non-profit organizations and registered charities.


Applications for CERS must be made on or before 180 days after the end of the qualifying period. Note that the CERS rules above are proposed and subject to change once final legislation is implemented.


For more information please visit:


Small to Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant


The Province of British Columbia is providing eligible businesses between $10,000 to $30,000 depending on their revenue loss as a result of COVID-19. An additional $5,000 to $10,000 may be available for certain tourism-related businesses.


Applicants must meet certain requirements such as:

  • the majority of the business is owned by one or more BC residents;
  • the business is currently operating;
  • operating for at least three years prior to March 10, 2020;
  • employs between two and 149 people in BC for at least four months of the calendar year;
  • experienced a revenue loss of at least 70% during March and April of 2020;
  • continues to earn 50% or less of pre-COVID revenue levels;
  • has and maintains a payroll account number with the Canada Revenue Agency.


The grants are available until March 31, 2021 or until the reserved funds (up to $300 million) are fully distributed.


For more information, including the complete list of requirements and a link to the application form, please visit:


$5,000 CUSBRF COVID-19 Relief Grant


The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund (CUSBRF) is providing eligible businesses up to $5,000 to help reimburse costs incurred after March 15, 2020 because of COVID-19.


There are three categories of purchases which are eligible for reimbursement under this program:

  • Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  • Renovation of space to adhere to re-opening guidelines; and
  • Enhancement of website/ developing e-commerce capability.


This grant is available to both For-Profit and Not-For-Profit organizations. Government organizations, municipalities, charities, and the chamber of commerce network are not eligible to apply.


Applicants must meet certain requirements such as:


  • no more than 75 employees;
  • annual sales between $150,000 and $3,000,000;
  • are incorporated or operating as a sole proprietorship/partnership in Canada as of March 1, 2020;
  • maintain $1,000,0000 of commercial general liability insurance;
  • be in operation after September 1, 2020.


The CUSBRF is being managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, but is open to all eligible organizations across Canada. For more information, including the complete list of requirements and a link to the application form, please visit:


If you have any questions about the information outlined above, please reach out to our team at

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