As of November 23, 2020 applications for the new CERS program are open. This new program was created to replace the previous Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and is designed to subsidize businesses, charities and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop due to COVID-19. Eligible entities will be able to claim up to a maximum of 65% of their eligible expenses, which include items such as rent, commercial mortgage interest and property taxes
This new subsidy will be available retroactive to September 27, 2020 and will be in place until June 2021. Thus far the government has only released the details for the first 12 weeks of the program, until December 19, 2020. The program will in many ways mirror the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and is designed to provide assistance to businesses who continue to be economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligibility for program:
- Have a payroll account as of March 15, 2020 or have been using a payroll service provider, have a business number as of September 27, 2020 or meet other conditions that may be prescribed in the future;
- Have suffered a revenue drop when compared to before the pandemic; and
- Have eligible expenses on a qualifying property.
- Must be on a qualifying property, which includes any real or immovable property in Canada that your business or organization owns or rents, and uses in the course of its ordinary business activities;
- Properties that do not qualify include your home or other residence used by you, your family members or other non-arm’s length persons and any properties that you own that are primarily used to earn rental income from arm’s length parties;
- Eligible expenses on a qualifying property include: rent, property taxes, property insurance, commercial mortgage interest, etc.
- Similar to CEWS any revenue drop will qualify and the subsidy will be on a sliding scale with a maximum 65% base rent subsidy rate available when there is a revenue decline of at least 70%;
- An additional 25% CERS top-up for lockdown support may be available for certain locations affected by public health restrictions;
- Eligible expenses would be limited to those paid under agreements in writing entered into before October 9, 2020 and are limited to expenses related to real property located in Canada;
- Claims are reduced by any rental income earned on the properties for the period;
- Expenses for each qualifying period will be capped at $75,000 per location and subject to an overall cap of $300,000 to be shared among affiliated entities;
- Online through CRA My Business Account or Represent a Client;
- You must create a CERS (ZA) number before you apply. This can be done through CRA My Business Account;
- Set up direct deposit to ensure faster payment.
More Information about the above program: