What is Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and How to apply for it?


What is Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and How to apply for it?

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) was introduced to help the businesses that suffer due to COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing measures. This subsidy will be provided to tenants/lessees directly comparing to earlier rent subsidies which supposed to be applied by the lessors/landlords.
CERS is eligible for businesses, individuals, registered charity organizations and non-profit organizations who could get reimbursement of up to 65% of eligible rent and other rent-related expenses.
Eligible expenses include:
  • Commercial rent (rental property)
  • Property and similar taxes (rental or owned property)
  • Insurance (owned property)
  • Interest on the commercial mortgage (owned property)
Moreover, an additional 25% lockdown support is available if the business was forced to temporarily close or significantly restrict activities by public health order.
The subsidy rate is calculated using the following formula:
Your revenue drop
  • Revenue drop of 70% or more
  • Revenue drop of 50 to 70%
  • Revenue drop of less than 50%
How to calculate your rate
  • The maximum subsidy rate of 65%
  • (Your revenue drop – 50%) x 1.25 + 40%
  • 0.8 x your revenue drop

CERS top-up (lockdown support) rate is 25% on lockdown, calculated as:

  • 25% (fixed top-up rate)
  • X days the location was locked due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • ÷ 28 (the days in the CERS period)
  • = Your top-up (lockdown support) rate

Due to the above-complicated formula, the Government provided an online calculator to calculate the subsidy amount.

Revenue calculation is aligned with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, allows to choose a comparison period either:

  • Average revenue of January and February 2020
  • The applicable month of the previous year

Companies can start applying for the subsidy for a four-week period, retroactively from September 27, 2020, up to June 2021.

To apply CERS log in to My Business Account or Represent a client, create a CERS (ZA) number. You must apply for each claim period separately, no longer than 180 days after the claim period.