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Here's how Canadian businesses can get up to 90 per cent rent subsidy

Kareem Adli, 23, works as a barista at the Waves Coffee House off Westwood Street and Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, B.C., putting his architecture career on hold to help out the family business. The coffee shop is one of nearly a dozen at the plaza who struggled to access federal rent subsidies in the spring after the tenant turned the program down. (via Glacier Media)

The federal government’s new rent-relief program set to provide up to a 90 per cent rent subsidies to businesses, non-profits and charities will start accepting new applications starting Monday (Nov. 23).

The new program, passed as Bill C-9, received Royal Assent on Thursday (Nov. 19), and is set to create a new paradigm for small businesses and community groups struggling to pay the bills. 

Ottawa’s previous COVID-19 rent subsidy for businesses was heavily criticized in the spring and summer, with tenants frustrated by provisions that left landlords with the decision to apply to the program and landlords claiming it placed them at unfair financial risk.

That’s now changed: tenants looking to apply to the program will receive the subsidies directly.

Businesses, charities and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop due to the pandemic are eligible for up to 65 per cent of “eligible expenses” until Dec. 19, 2020; retroactive claims can be made going back to Sept. 27, 2020. 

For tenants facing a public health lockdown — including municipal or regional health restrictions — an additional 25 per cent rent subsidy will be made available through the Canada Emergency Rent subsidy.

Ottawa also recommitted to introducing further legislation to formalize rent payments through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy as an eligible expense.  

The program is also targeted to support property owners with interests on their mortgage. 

In addition to the new rent subsidy programs, the new legislation passed Thursday extends the federal wage subsidy program until June 2021. 

More information will be made available at