Government needs to sweeten the pot

The help is on the table. Landlords need to take it. I’ve written about the federal government’s commercial rent assistance program called CECRA before, here and here. My opinion piece in the Spec yesterday focused on it.

The fact of the matter is that landlords are not signing up in sufficient numbers to help save small businesses from going under. Stories have been circulating in the press about this topic.

Only 1 in 5 Landlords in Canada are Stepping Up to Offer Small Business Rent Relief Ahead of May 1st Due Date

Coronavirus: Rent relief is coming for commercial landlords, but some may not apply

Nova Scotia business couple says retail sector being forgotten by government

The fact remains the program isn’t likely to see huge drastic changes to it’s structure. This pandemic isn’t going away any time soon. Here in Ontario, the provincial government as extended the state of emergency to June 2nd. Schools and public places remain closed and in my opinion will likely remain so for the foreseeable future.

Tourism is going to be nonexistent this year. And any businesses that are able to reopen, will not be too full capacity. The facts of the matter is that revenues will be drastically reduced this year. Provinces need to step in and pass commercial rent eviction protection. They have already done so for residential tenants. It is puzzling why they have extended this protection yet. The very real risk of small businesses being eliminated from our communities is looming.

The money is there. Our provincial leadership needs to start encouraging landlords to take it.

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