B.C. offers small business eviction protection, urges landlord participation

05 Juin, 2020, 10:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Provincial finance minister Carole James

Finance Minister Carole James says a new order under the province's Emergency Program Act protects small businesses from eviction who can not pay their rent due to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

If a landlord is eligible for the program but has not applied for the funding, small businesses in B.C. will be protected from eviction wit hthe new Emergency Program Act (EPA), she said.

A retail lobby says thousands of small businesses are in limbo after the province announced a short-term program banning some commercial evictions.

"Weigh your options, think about the impacts, particularly if you are a health-care worker or have vulnerable people in your circle, in your household, in your family", Henry said.

While the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program opened last Monday, many continue to report it won't help them either because their landlord won't apply or they do not meet the revenue loss criteria of 70 percent.

"This order restricts lease terminations, rent repayment lawsuits and the repossession of small businesses, goods and property", James told a news conference.

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"There are certainly some tenants who their landlords have been very clear that they don't want to bother, they don't want to take the time to apply for the federal program, and that then hurts the tenant", she says.

"We're listening to small businesses and have their backs", said James. "This emergency order will be in place while the federal program is in place". The announcement came Monday from Finance Minister Carole James who says data is scarce on how widespread the problem is.

Besides the loss of revenue, an eligible small business must also have a monthly rent under $50,000 and earn less than $20 million in gross annual revenue per year.

"This fills a gap in the federal program", said James, who added that the provincial government has heard many stories of landlords who have applied to the CECRA program, or who are working with their tenants to defer rent or offer rent relief.

Anxiety for many small businesses remains high as they head into a third month of severely reduced revenues and no rent relief, warns the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

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