Keeping businesses open through Covid-19

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson recently called on commercial landlords to do what they could to help their tenants survive Covid-19.

“The provincial and federal governments introduced a program where they would pay 50% of commercial rent for April, May and June as long as the landlord is willing to cover an additional 25%,” he noted in a recent video. “For many local businesses, getting a break like this on their rent can mean the difference between them staying open and closing permanently. However, it is the landlord that has to apply to the program.”

“That’s why as mayor, I’m asking every commercial landlord in the city to apply for this program,” Paterson continues. “Yes, you will get less rent for three months, but you’ll be able to hold onto your tenant and you’ll help others to keep their jobs. I’m asking all landlords to come to the table to work together for the betterment of our community.

The Prime Minister issued the same call during one of his daily press conferences.

As a Kingston landlord, and one who has commercial tenants, I have a few thoughts.

  • This is a good idea. We need to look at the fallout from this pandemic in its entirety and what might happen in the future.
  • Some businesses may fold due to the pressures of paying rent while not operating, and this may lead to job losses. There is a strong likelihood that people will get ready to go back to work in the coming weeks and months, and not have a job to go back to. This will have major consequences for landlords, mortgage brokers, and all of us.

If you’re a commercial landlord, visit cmhc.ca for more details on the program.

What are your thoughts on the rent relief programs introduced so far? Will you be taking advantage of them? Email me with your thoughts: jordan@reri.ca.

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