Liberals revamp rent relief for businesses hit by COVID-19, expand loan program

The federal government is creating a new emergency rent subsidy for businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says financial help will also be available to businesses affected by localized lockdowns.

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will provide direct help to businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic to help them offset the cost of rent.

He said a revamped commercial rent-relief program will cover up to 65 per cent of eligible expenses for companies, and up to 90 per cent for those subject to localized lockdowns.

The government also said today that it will cover up to 65 per cent of eligible wages through its subsidy program, but only until the end of December, and expand a well-used loan program by providing an added $10,000 that could be forgivable.

Trudeau said even though many businesses have reopened, a number of them are not at full capacity while others are worried about surviving a second wave.

He said the government wants to help those companies hang on, and keep their workers employed.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that the country added 378,000 jobs in September, bringing overall employment to within 720,000 of pre-pandemic levels.

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