Here are some news and updates we believe are important for business owners and their employees to know.
Please check back daily for updates.
June 8, 2020 - Ontario government announces temporary commercial eviction ban effective June 3- August 31 (link)
June 8, 2020 The majority of Ontario enters phase 2 of reopening, excludes GTA
The CECRA is now open for applications as of May 26th in Ontario - if you are unable to pay rent and your landlord is refusing to apply, please contact us asap! We are working with local government to find additional assistance, resources and policies.
1) Is my landlord eligible?
There are 3 eligibility requirements for a landlord:
a) they need to own commercial property occupied by one or more small business tenants
b) they need to enter into the legally binding rent reduction agreement (see below)
c) they need to guarantee not to evict and attest their total rental revenue
2) Am I eligible?
You are eligible if you:
a) Pay no more than $50,000/month in rent
b) Generate no more than $20 million in gross annual revenues
c) have experienced at least a 70% decline in pre-COVID-19 revenues in April AND May 2020, and project the same for June 2020
3) How do I calculate my loss of revenue?
a) If your small business was open in April – June 2019, then compare your gross revenues from April, May and June of 2020 to your revenues of April, May and June of 2019.
b) If your small business was not open during April – June 2019, then compare your average gross revenues from April, May and June of 2020 to your average gross revenues for January and February 2020.
4) I already paid some or all of my rent in April/May. What happens?
The loan agreement stipulates that if you have already paid the April, May and June rent your property owner will either, at your choice:
a) reimburse you for rent paid in excess of 25%, or
b) provide you a credit for future rental payments
5) What is considered 50% "gross rent"?
The government will cover 50% gross rent which includes your base rent, operating cost, property tax, utilities, management fees, maintenance fees or other regular monthly fees. Sales tax (HST) is not included and will still be your responsibility to pay at 100%. You are expected to pay 25% of your gross rent and the landlord waives the remaining 25%.
6) I am ineligible or my landlord is refusing the apply. What can I do?
Please contact us and we will help you navigate other options that may be available.
Letters from government offices (Apr 30, 2020) - if you would like a personalized letter sent to your landlord, please contact us
Template Letter to landlord from tenant (Apr 28, 2020)
Government of Ontario declared all non essential businesses must close by 11:59 pm on March 24, 2020. The closure will last for a minimum of 14 days. See here for list
Here are some announcements for assistance by government as of (March 24th) that are important for small business owners and workers
Canada Child Benefit increase up to $300 per child as of May
CRA is deferring filing of income tax for individuals until June 1st, though those receiving benefits should try to file by April 30th to continue receiving their payments
Any income tax payments can be deferred until August 31 2020.
six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans
CMHC-insured mortgage loan payments can be deferred, large banks say up to 6 months but are taking it on a case-by-case matter
If you are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children you can apply for EI sickness benefits (only if you are not receiving paid sick leave) through service Canada. Employers must file a record of employment (ROE).
Emergency Support Benefit
If you are laid off or on reduced hours you may apply for the Emergency support benefit through your CRA account (available in April) if you are not eligible for EI
Emergency Care Benefit
Provides up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:
Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.
You can apply through CRA MyAccount portal, My Service Canada account, or at a tollfree number in April 2020
Free childcare will be available for essential and critical service workers
Support for businesses
Ontario is expected to announce business supports in its upcoming spring economic update on March 25, 2020.
Ontario government has announced an end to Time-of-Use electricity pricing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Effective immediately, electricity will be priced at "low-peak" - 10.1 cents/kwh - at all hours of the day for the next 45 days.
Support for self-employed
The government of Ontario has indicated that there will be supports for the self-employed announced shortly; however, there are no details at this time.
Support for employees
If you need to lay off employees temporarily, there is no requirement to give or pay notice since the employee is not being terminated.
In Ontario, employers have the option to temporarily lay off employees for up to 13 weeks. After 13 weeks, the lay off becomes permanent and severance pay rules will apply.
Municipal – City of Toronto
Property tax and utility bills 60 day grace period as of March 16th
All retail businesses are exempt from the City of Toronto Noise Bylaw to facilitate after-hour deliveries.
“No new eviction orders will be issued until further notice” due to inability to enforce and hold hearings. Even if a landlord gives written notice, the tenant doesn’t have to move out
Customers behind on electricity or natural gas bill and face having service disconnected may qualify for emergency financial help through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
Home owners can apply for property tax relief if they experience illness that results in loss of work, or if they are experiencing extreme poverty.