Cadillac Fairview, the giant commercial real estate company that owns 70 properties across Canada, including major malls like the Toronto Eaton Centre and Vancouver’s Pacific Centre, says between 20 and 25% of its retail tenants paid rent in April.
Cadillac Fairview said in a statement to Toronto Storeys that it has already deferred April and May rents for a “significant” number of its retail clients.
“Cadillac Fairview recognizes that many of our retail clients are facing economic challenges,” the company said in its statement. “Companies cannot overcome the COVID-19 crisis on their own.”
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Moving forward, Cadillac Fairview said it will continue to work with its clients, peers, industry associations, and all levels of government to ensure the long term success of the retail industry.
Here in Ontario, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Premier Doug Ford ordered all non-essential businesses to close in March, which included in the closure of retail stores. And with no date set for when Ontario’s economy will start to reopen it remains unclear as to when stores can open their doors.
As businesses of all sizes struggle to stay afloat, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, which will lower rent by 75% for small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June. To qualify, small retailers and businesses must have seen a 70% or greater reduction in revenues.
According to the Retail Council of Canada, the CECRA program will benefit retail companies with less than $20 million in gross annual revenue, measured at the parent company level. The program is only available to companies with one or more locations each with gross rent not exceeding $50,000 per month.
However, details on the forthcoming program for larger retailers – and for those small and medium-sized businesses that have not experienced a 70% or greater reduction in sales – have not yet been released.