Trudeau Announces Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, which will help small businesses offset rent in April, May, and June.

The prime minister said the government will be working with the provinces to roll this new program out because this is a provincial jurisdiction. Trudeau says more details on this program will be announced soon.

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During his daily COVID-19 briefing at Rideau Cottage, Trudeau also revealed the federal government plans to loosen the eligibility criteria for the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

The program, which targets small and medium-sized businesses, offers government-guaranteed interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to cover the costs of keeping their businesses in operation during the COVID-19 crisis.

Trudeau says businesses that spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 will be eligible to receive a loan. Previously, only businesses with payrolls of $50,000 to $1 million were eligible.

“This is money entrepreneurs and employers can use to cover operational costs and help with other immediate needs,” Trudeau said.

Business owners can apply for support from the CEBA through their banks and credit unions. To date, more than 195,000 loans have been approved through this program, amounting to more than $7.5 billion, the Prime Minister said.

Trudeau also said he spoke with G7 leaders today about global efforts to combat COVID-19.

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