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With many regions in Canada entering lockdown and many businesses still struggling in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, the Canadian government is responding by introducing new programs such as the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) as the latest COVID-19 business relief measure.

Each location can receive up to $75,000 in subsidies with a maximum of $300,000 in total for all locations, for each CERS payment period.

Find out if your businesses is eligible, as well as how you can use the subsidy calculator to estimate the size of the subsidy you could receive.

Program Overview: Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Amount of Funding:

Successful applicants can receive up to $75,000 in subsidies per location and $300,000 in total for all locations for each pay period. Visit Canada.ca for the latest information on the periods you can apply for.

Who Can Apply:

Businesses, non-profit organizations, and charities located in Canada who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to apply for this program.

You can apply for CERS if your business meets ALL four of the following eligibility criteria:

1. Are an eligible Canadian business, non-profit, or charity

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) has a wide range of businesses listed as being eligible for this COVID-19 relief program.

The full list of eligible businesses are:

  • Self-employed Individuals;
  • Registered charities;
  • Corporations that are not exempt from income tax;
  • The following organizations that are exempt from income tax:
    • non-profit organizations;
    • agricultural organizations;
    • boards of trade;
    • chambers of commerce;
    • non-profit corporations for scientific research and experimental development;
    • labour organizations or societies; and
    • benevolent or fraternal benefit societies or orders.
  • Partnerships consisting of eligible employers (including partnerships where at least 50% of the interests in the partnership are held by eligible employers)
  • The following prescribed organizations:
    • certain Indigenous government-owned corporations that carry on a business;
    • partnerships consisting of eligible employers and certain Indigenous governments;
    • registered Canadian amateur athletic associations;
    • registered journalism organizations;
    • private schools or private colleges; and
    • partnerships consisting of eligible employers (including partnerships where at least 50% of the interests in the partnership are held by eligible employers)

Public institutions are unfortunately not eligible to receive funding through this program.

If your business is not listed here, you can visit the Canada.ca page to confirm who can apply for CERS and whether your business may be considered an affiliated entity.

2. Meet at least one of the following requirements:

  1. Had a CRA business number on or before September 27, 2020;
  2. Had a payroll account on March 15, 2020, or another person or partnership made payroll remittances on your behalf; or
  3. You purchased the business assets of another person or partnership who meets condition (b) above, and have made an election under the special asset acquisition rules.

3. Experienced a drop in revenue

Your drop in revenue will be used to calculate how much your business can receive from the rent subsidy. You can use the Canada.ca CERS online calculator, or learn how to calculate the revenue decrease on your own. There is currently no minimum drop in revenue required.

4. Have eligible expenses

See the Qualifying Properties & Eligible Expenses section below.

Qualifying Properties & Eligible Expenses:

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) will fund any property in Canada that the federal government describes as “real or immovable property” (buildings or land) that your business/organization owns or rents and uses during your ordinary business activities.

Properties that do not qualify include your home, cottage, or other places of residence used by yourself, family members, or other arms-length persons. Rental income properties that collect income from arms-length parties are also ineligible.

Apply for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS):

Your Canadian business or organization can apply for the wage subsidy online through Canada.ca and request funding between the available payment periods.

If your business is looking for additional COVID-19 support programs, visit our Canadian Government Coronavirus funding page to learn more about the funding programs and resources available to Canadian businesses during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Government Support for Canadian Businesses

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Written by

Matthew has a background in digital marketing, working with small business owners on their branding, digital marketing strategy, and the execution of their campaigns. As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Matthew continues to help business owners by creating educational content on what Government funding opportunities are available to Canadian businesses. Follow Matthew Mongeon on Twitter or add him on LinkedIn for government funding updates.

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