The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides easy-to-access rent and mortgage support direct to eligible renters and property owners until June 2021.
What is the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)?
This financial support replaces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. CERS helps businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop due to COVID-19. It subsidizes a percentage of your expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until June, 2021. Hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown could receive rent support of up to 90 per cent.
There is no minimum revenue drop required to qualify for the subsidy.
- Direct, targeted, and accessible rent support to qualifying organizations, without the need to go through your landlord
- A subsidy for eligible fixed property expenses
- A new, additional Lockdown Support of 25 per cent for businesses affected by a public health order
If you have set up direct deposit, you can generally expect to receive your payment 3-8 days after filing your claim.
These three infographics from the Government of Canada can help to make the CERS process clearer:
- An overview of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
- Details of the support available
- How it works and what to do
Who is Eligible?
This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be an eligible B.C. business, charity, or non-profit (eligible entity), or an "affiliated entity"
- Have experienced a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. There is no minimum revenue drop required to qualify for the subsidy.
- Have a qualifying property with specific related expenses
What is Lockdown Support?
The CERS program includes a new, additional Lockdown Support of 25 per cent for businesses that must shut their doors or significantly limit their activities under a public health order issued under the laws of Canada, a province or territory (including orders made by a municipality or regional health authority under one of those laws).
Combined, this would mean that hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown could receive rent support of up to 90 per cent.
See more about Lockdown Support eligibility and subsidy amounts.
You can apply for a portion of eligible expenses relevant to each claim period for each qualifying property.
A qualifying property is one that you:
- Own or rent, and
- Use in the course of your ordinary business activities
For each claim period, you can claim eligible expenses up to:
- $75,000 per business location (base subsidy and top-up Lockdown Support)
- $300,000 in total for all locations (including any amounts claimed by affiliated businesses)
Calculating Your Subsidy
Use the Government of Canada CERS calculator to find out how much your rent subsidy may be. The calculation takes into account:
- Eligible expenses you may claim up to the stated maximums above
- Your base rent subsidy rate based on your revenue drop
- Your top-up (lockdown support) eligibility and rate
A CERS application must be filed no later than 180 days after the end of a claim period. This support program is due to end in June, 2021.
- Claim period 1: September 27th to October 24th, 2020
- Claim period 2: October 25th to November 21st, 2020
- Claim period 3: November 22nd to December 19th, 2020 (upcoming)
Learn more about the CERS claim periods.
CERS and Lockdown Support FAQs
I have two separate companies, one that operates a business (operating company) paying rent to the other (holding company). We have a lease in place. Can I apply for CERS?
Only amounts paid or payable to an arm’s-length party can be included. Rent paid by the operating company to the non-arms-length entity (holding company) is not eligible, regardless of if a fair-market-value lease is in place. The holding company may be able to apply for CERS in relation to property taxes, property insurance, and mortgage interest, on the basis of consolidated revenue.
Is my home-based business eligible?
No. Self-contained domestic establishments are not eligible for CERS. A storage facility you use could be eligible though.
If I own property and pay my property taxes in an annual lump sum, can I claim the entire lump sum expense in one eligibility period?
No. Enter the total amount into the subsidy calculator, selecting “Year 2020” as the expense period. The calculator will pro-rate the amount for the 28-day eligibility period.
Can I qualify for lockdown support if my business was affected by orders, but not ordered shut (eg. travel restrictions reducing customers, capped numbers on event attendees, etc.)?
No. An order that restricts or reduces activities but doesn’t require you to close or stop certain activities does not qualify for lockdown support. You must have one or more locations temporarily closed, or have activities significantly restricted for a week or longer due to a Covid-19-related public health order.
Do I qualify for lockdown support if my business was closed for seven days, but five of those days fell in one eligibility period and two of those days fell in the next eligibility period?
No. Your business must be ordered to close for at least seven days in the eligibility period you are applying for.