Protecting Small Business Act - Temporarily halting or reversing evictions of commercial tenants

Published on June 22, 2020

It is a fact, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the small businesses that make-up the backbone of our economy. 

There are too many commercial tenants who are still being threatened with evictions. This is unacceptable, and the government will always protect these businesses.  The Province has paused commercial evictions of businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance. Landlords can’t lock tenants out or seize their assets from May 1 to August 31, 2020.

Commercial tenants who can pay their rent, must continue to do so. Landlords should work with their tenants to come to an agreement and apply to the rent assistance program we have partnered with the federal government to provide.

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program (CECRA) for small businesses provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial landlords for the months of April, May and June 2020. Small business landlords would be asked to forgive at least 25 per cent of the tenant's total rent, tenants would be asked to pay up to 25 per cent of rent and the provincial and federal governments would share the cost of the remaining 50 per cent.

The eviction pause does not apply to businesses participating in CECRA for small businesses, as the program requires landlords to enter into a rent reduction agreement with their impacted small business tenants, which includes committing to a moratorium on evictions for three months.

Tenants and landlords can learn who is eligible for CECRA for small businesses and how to apply at Ontario.ca/rentassistance. The application deadline is August 31, 2020.

We have to work together to overcome COVID-19. That’s true for protecting public health and for protecting our economy.

To learn more, please click here.