BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) welcomes the recent news that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will be extended until the end of September, but is disappointed that no fixes to the flaws in the program have been announced.
Rent relief is critical to the future of many Canadian small businesses. The extension will help some businesses. However, many businesses have been shut out of participating in the program due to landlord lack of participation. The deep unfairness that has existed in the program since it was launched needs to be addressed as some businesses have been operating for six months without the rent relief they need and others have already made the tough decision to close.
CFIB continues to be hopeful that rent relief will be fixed. They are recommending:
- Relief be independent of landlord participation
- Relief continue through the fall
- Retroactively allowing business owners who met the 70 percent revenue loss criteria but whose landlords did not wish to participate to apply for the government portion of the assistance
- Provinces extend commercial eviction protection until there is a better program in place for rent relief
They are pleased the new finance minister continues to indicate she is aware there is a problem with the existing rent relief program and is continuing to listen to small business.
Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)