Friday, 01 May 2020 15:39

Updates May 1, 2020

Good Morning All,


The PM's daily briefing this morning was focused on the Federal government's ban on military assault rifles.  So I do not have a Federal update on the Commercial Rent Relief Program.


It is May 1st and it is rent day for our business and landlord members.  The Federal/Provincial commercial rent relief program has not yet opened for applications and is still missing many details and refinements important to those who might consider using it.  It is the hope that our business tenants and landlords have been able to have conversations leading up to today's rent due date and have been able to make temporary arrangements.  It is important that we all continue to let our government representatives know where things stand with this issue; and what is needed to make things work better.  Once again I have included MP Julie Dabrusin, MPP Peter Tabuns and Councillor Paula Fletcher in the top send line of this email.


Media Interviews:

I'd like to thank our various BIA members who have agreed to do media interviews over the past several weeks.  If you are interested in being added to the list of BIA members who are open to doing media interviews (radio, print, tv) please let me know.  We often get requests last minute and do our best to fill the request.  The more members we have willing to help the better able we are to fill the requests.


Councillor Fletcher wanted to inform you about this item passed at City Council yesterday during City Council's first virtual meeting.

The following was included in item CC20.2 - City of Toronto Response and the Ongoing Management of Emergency City Business during the COVID-19 Pandemic:


5. City Council request the Province of Ontario and the Federal Government to amend the newly announced Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program to help Toronto's small business and not-for-profit communities remain viable in the wake of the COVID-19; specific amendments to the program should include:


a.  broadening eligibility criteria to include tenant businesses and not-for-profits that have experienced significant revenue losses that are greater than 50 percent (instead of the announced 70 percent) and who still who meet the criteria of less than $50,000 per month in rent;

b.  broadening eligibility criteria to include landlord structures common to the not-for-profit sector, such as head leasees operating community hubs in public sector properties, to ensure that not-for-profit organizations and tiered landlord structures are eligible for the program;

c.  encouraging landlords and tenants to work co-operatively with regard to May rent until the program is operational in mid-May; and

d. ensuring the stackability of programs targeted at small business and not-for-profits.

6.  City Council requests the Province of Ontario to immediately institute a temporary moratorium on any commercial rent default evictions as a moratorium is only currently contemplated for participants in the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program, which may leave many tenants unable to access relief as landlords can choose to not participate in the program.


Here is a link to the full item:

Scam Warnings:
Last week I reported that there were some scams making the rounds and to please take care when someone wants to place a large order.  I had suggested that you make sure you receive full payment in advance.  One of our business members followed up with me on this and said that even with receiving full payment, especially via credit card, to be wary as the payment can be cancelled.
This week the Ontario Energy Board issued an alert on increased efforts by scam artists attempting to take advantage of consumer uncertainty during this COVID-19 emergency, with respect to their energy bills.  Please take a moment to read through the attached alert information on this issue.


Susan Puff
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