Every Friday, we publish a weekly update on COVID-19 and its effect on business. View our COVID-19 resources and daily webinars here.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses

On April 24th, 2020, the Canadian government announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 percent for small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per the Government of Canada’s website:

  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 percent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 percent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 percent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 percent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

CECRA is the most recent addition to the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. For more information about the government’s continued efforts to address the impacts of COVID‑19, click here.

Businesses Urged to use COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Calculator

Are you planning on applying for the federal wage subsidy? The federal government has launched a new online tool to help businesses calculate their subsidy Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) amount to be dispersed in May 2020.

View the Government of Canada’s online calculator here.

To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, you must:

  • Be an eligible employer
  • Have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue, and
  • Have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020

Ensure that you meet the federal government’s eligibility requirements by reading them here.

Saskatchewan Announces Five Phases for Reopening of Economy and Services.

“Over the next several weeks, restrictions will be gradually lifted by adding more types of businesses to the allowable businesses list, meaning that they can reopen if they so choose,”

-Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe

In an announcement that may influence other provinces, Phase One of Saskatchewan’s reopening is set to begin May 4 and includes:

  • Medical services including dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, opticians, podiatry, occupational therapy and chiropractic treatment.
  • Facilities to accommodate low-risk outdoor activities, such as boating and fishing.
  • Online reservations for campgrounds, which are then to be opened on June 1.
  • Golf courses will reopen with restrictions beginning May 15.

Phase Two is set to begin on May 19 and includes:

  • Clothing stores, sporting good stores, vaping supply shops, bookstores, jewelry stores, boat and ATV dealerships, accessory stores, music stores, electronic stores, pawnshops and travel agencies.
  • Personal services including hairdressers, registered massage therapists, acupuncturists and acupressurists.

Phase Three (date TBD) will see further openings restrictions lifted including:

  • Aestheticians, tattoo artists, cosmetologists, electrologists, manicurists, pedicurists, suntanning parlours, body piercing, bone grafting or scarification services and other personal service providers.
  • Restaurant and food services, to operate at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Gyms.
  • Child-care centres.
  • Licensed establishments.
  • Limits on public gatherings will increase to 15 people.

Phase Four (date TBD) will see the continued reopening of the following:

  • Casinos, bingo halls, curling rinks, swimming pools, municipal parks and playgrounds, movie theatres, museums and similar facilities.
  • Seasonal programming, such as camps, recreational activities and athletic activities.
  • Limits on public gatherings will increase to 30 people.

Phase Five will be concerned with lifting long-term restrictions and isn’t fully conceptualized at this time.

Stay up-to-date about Saskatchewan’s  Five Phase Plan to reopen the province at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/.


While the coronavirus continues to spread quickly, it is important to remember that only a small percentage of patients need special treatment to recover. Trusted health experts continue to emphasize that the general population shouldn’t panic and should instead focus on practicing proper hygiene, such as hand-washing and refraining from touching the facial area.

Stay up to date on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by visiting the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada website.

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