The Province of Ontario released its framework for re-opening Ontario and the relaxation of restrictions related to COVID-19. Learn how the Province is planning to reopen businesses, services and public spaces in a 3 stage approach:
On May 14th, the Ontario Government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework.
Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA)
The Prime Minister in conjunction with the provincial governments announced the Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) which will lower rent costs by 75 per cent for small business tenants that have been affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. Qualifying commercial property owners will receive forgivable loans, to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments from small businesses facing financial hardship during April, May, June. On June 30th the government announced the extension of the program to include July as well. The CMHC administers CECRA for small business on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Province.
The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of FOUR monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, June and now July.
The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the FOUR 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 per cent 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 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
The federal government has confirmed that CECRA is available to all landlords, regardless of whether or not they currently have a mortgage.
In most areas of Canada, including Ontario, online retail businesses can continue to sell to customers online, or by taking orders by email, telephone or other electronic means including social media. Curbside pickup is permitted as long as 2-meter physical distancing is maintained by employees and customers. For non-essential businesses, customers cannot enter the facility.
We have both essential and non-essential businesses in Corso Italia. Many are offering Curbside Pickup or Doorstep Delivery, or both. Each business should be following the recommended precautions and we recommend that customers also practice caution and follow the recommended protocol for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The Ontario government announced on May 6th that it will be allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores. The business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners. As early as Friday, May 8 at 12:01 a.m., garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. On Monday, May 11 at 12:01 a.m., retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.
IMPORTANT: The information provided on this page is general information. Each business owner / operator should refer to the guidelines and documentation provided by the provincial government as it relates to their specific business. Please visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces
Note: “essential business” means a business listed in Schedule 2.