Businesses Reopen, Students Find Relief, and Commercial Tenants Seek More Assistance

Below, you will find a list of businesses that are reopening in May 2020 after the coronavirus lockdown. We've also included the details about COVID-19 student assistance and provided commentary on the problems with the coronavirus commercial rent assistance.

Latest Updates

  • Ontario has recently revealed its three-stage plan for reopening.

  • There will be 2–4 weeks between the launch of each stage to allow health officials to assess conditions and determine if measures should be adjusted, loosened, or tightened.

  • Phase 1: Opening some workplaces and public spaces.

  • Phase 2: Opening more workplaces and spaces and allowing larger gatherings.

  • Phase 3: Opening all workplaces and spaces and relaxing restrictions on gatherings.

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More Businesses Opening

  • Yesterday(May 4), the province authorized certain businesses to reopen following a stabilization of COVID-19 cases.

  • Some of these businesses include garden centres with curbside pickup, essential construction projects, automatic and self-serve car washes, and golf courses and marinas (preparing for the general public).

  • The government partnered with Ontario's health and safety association to create sector-specific guidelines to assist businesses in their eventual reopening—ensuring the safety of their workers, customers, and the general public.

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Relief for Students

  • The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) will provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance or who are unable to work due to COVID-19.

  • CESB will provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependants or disabilities.

  • Available from May to August 2020.

  • More details are expected soon. We will keep you updated.

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Commercial Rent Relief Issues

  • Last week, Ontario announced a partnership with the federal government to deliver urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA).

  • Under OCECRA, the government provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners (covering 50% of their tenants' monthly commercial rent). However, landlords are required to reduce the rent by 25% for their small business tenants.

  • Forcing landlords to apply for the loan and also requiring them to drop the monthly rent by 25% is causing significant concern for struggling small businesses who are at the mercy of landlords who may believe the benefit is not in their best interest.

  • Furthermore, the program does not open until mid-May and many businesses are also worried that the restrictions (at least a 70% revenue reduction) are too restrictive.

  • Click here or here for additional commentary.

Click Here for more information on OCECRA

Levstein, Azan is committed to providing updates that may affect our clients or the community. You can find more up-to-date information by liking our Facebook page. Please contact us at josh@azan-law.com with any questions.


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