Increasing Number of Canadian Small Businesses Struggling to Pay Rent Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic economic restrictions, a large portion of Canadian businesses have been struggling to make ends meet. According to a recent monthly survey conducted by Broadview Danforth BIA, almost three quarters of small business owners could not pay their June rent in full, are anticipating great difficulties in coming up with enough funds for July’s rent.

The survey, which consists of 427 respondents and is inclusive of businesses in the Guelph and Ottawa area, found that 72% of small business owners were unable to pay their June rent in full, with 31.4% respondents unable to pay any rent at all. Conversely, 51.5% of the small business owners surveyed said they were able to come to an agreement with their landlord regarding financial shortcomings, meanwhile 35.8% said their landlords were not receptive to the idea.

There are still a large number of commercial landlords that have not applied for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. 61% of tenants have said their landlord has not applied for the program, even though they meet the qualifications. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has specifically requested that landlords put their greedy motives aside and do their part in helping small businesses during the economic downturn. Although he has threatened to take action, Ford has yet to answer to calls requesting commercial evictions to be prohibited.

The survey also found that 29% of businesses fear they will be locked out of their rental property if they fail to pay rent. There is also a separate survey which had 92 commercial landlords respond. 44% of those landlords did admit they have not yet applied for the rent assistance program, but are planning to apply in due time.

Information for this briefing was found via CP24 and CTV News. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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