The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides rent and mortgage support to small businesses affected by COVID-19. The subsidy is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provides support directly to tenants.
Most recent update:
December 22, 2021, government temporarily expanded the CERS from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022, to:
December 17, 2021, Bill C-2 was passed, legislating CERS to target its support to only the most impacted businesses after Oct 23rd, 2021.
3 new streams which will run from Oct. 24th, 2021, to May 7th, 2022:
As more details are available, we’ll update our website with the most accurate, recent information.
See our timeline for all updates on rent relief.
|Other resources||Our advocacy|
CERS Program Overview
How the program is administered: CERS is administered by the CRA on a period-by-period basis. Each CERS Claim Period is four weeks, and businesses can generally submit a claim the day after the period has ended. Here is a current schedule of CERS Claim Periods:
|CERS Claim Periods|
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3||Period 4||Period 5||Period 6||Period 7||Period 8||Period 9||Period 10||Period 11||Period 12||Period 13||Period 14|
|Sep 27 to Oct 24, 2020||Oct 25 to Nov 21, 2020||Nov 22 to Dec 19, 2020||Dec 20 to Jan 17, 2021||Jan 18 to Feb 13, 2021||Feb 14 to Mar 13, 2021||Mar 14 to Apr 10, 2021||Apr 11 to May 8, 2021||May 9 to Jun 5, 2021||Jun 6 to Jul 3, 2021||Jul 4 to Jul31, 2021||Aug 1 to Aug 28, 2021||Aug 29 to Sept 25, 2021||Sept 26 to Oct 23, 2021|
Amount businesses can receive: The subsidy is available on a sliding scale (with a maximum amount of 65%) for businesses that can demonstrate a revenue loss from September 27, 2020, to July 3, 2021. An additional top-up of 25% (maximum possible subsidy of 90%) is available for businesses that temporarily shut down due to a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority. The maximum subsidy amount will begin to decline starting July 4, 2021, with the program due to end September 25, 2021.
Program duration: September 27, 2020, to October 23, 2021
How to apply: After using the CERS calculator, you must apply through one of the following CRA portals:
When to apply: Businesses need to apply for the rent subsidy after the month has passed. This means, for example, that applications for November support will not be available until December.
Application deadline: 180 days after the end of each claim period. Should CRA have delayed your application you may receive a 30-day extension to the 180 days.
Eligibility criteria: See the FAQ below for details.
How to calculate: See the FAQ below for details.
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|CERS* Period 15
Oct 24 – Nov 20
|CERS** Periods 16-19
Nov 21, 2021 - March 12, 2022
|CERS** Periods 20-21
March 13 – May 7, 2022
* Accessible only to greatly impacted businesses and still to be regulated
** Still to be legislated
|CERS Period 10
June 6 – July 3
|CERS Period 11
July 4 – July 31
|CERS Period 12
Aug 1 – Aug 28
|CERS Period 13
Aug 29 – Sept 25
|CERS Period 14
Sept 26 – Oct 23
CERS is available for both renters and property owners. To determine if your business is eligible, you need to:
- Own or rent a property that is:
- Real or immovable (not for domestic purposes); and
- Located in Canada and used by your business for its ordinary activities
- Have eligible rent expenses totalling no more than $75,000 per location per period and $300,000 per entity per period
- Be an eligible entity, including a/an:
- Taxable corporation or trust
- Registered charity
- Partnership of eligible employers
- Non-profit organization
- Have experienced a revenue loss during a CERS claim period
- Have a payroll account as of March 15, 2020 (or have been using a payroll service provider) or have a business number (BN) as of September 27, 2020.
Non-eligible businesses include those who:
- Do not have revenues before March 1, 2020
- Have residential properties such as your home or cottage used by you, your family or other non-arm’s-length persons
- Have properties you own that are primarily used to earn rental income from arm’s-length parties
Note: If your landlord received funding through CECRA, it does not impact your eligibility for the CERS.
A net lease is a written rental agreement between the landlord and a tenant that states the tenant will pay or owes one or more expenses (e.g., rent, property taxes) to the landlord, landlord’s agent, or property management company.
|Renter||if included under a net lease
Condo and strata fees:
- For owners: this is not considered an eligible expense. These fees can be claimed as an eligible Working from home expense.
- For renters: CRA is still making a determination on this.
*Speak to your accountant or CRA if this is your situation.
- For renters and property owners: Only amounts paid or payable to an arm’s-length party are considered eligible expenses.
- For property owners: If you earned any revenue from sub-leasing space to arm’s-length parties, you must subtract that revenue from your eligible expenses.
- Expenses must fall within the claim period you are applying for. Note: the CERS calculator prorates eligible expenses to 28 days.
- Eligible rent expenses are limited to those under agreements entered into before October 9, 2020 and must be in writing.
- Sales tax (e.g., GST/HST)
- Regular business operating payments paid to a third-party provider (e.g., phone or internet)
- Amounts paid as, on account of, in lieu of payment of or in satisfaction of damages
- Amounts paid under a guarantee, security, or similar indemnity of covenant
- Payments arising due to default under the agreement by the eligible entity
- Interest and penalties on unpaid amounts
- Fees payable for infrequent items or special services
- Reconciliation adjustment payments
No. CERS is based on the amount payable (owed) in each claim period, NOT on the amount paid. However, you must attest to pay your rent bill within 60 days of receiving your CERS.
To calculate CERS, businesses need to determine their revenue loss and then use one of the formulas below to calculate the amount of rent subsidy that they will receive. The calculation is as follows:
Periods 1 – 10 (September 27, 2020, to July 3, 2021):
Those with up to 50% revenue loss will get 0.8 times their current revenue loss as a subsidy.
- For example, if your revenue loss is 50%, you will multiply this by 0.8 to receive a 40% rent subsidy.
Those with a revenue loss between 50% and 70% will get 40% plus 1.25 times the incremental amount of loss above 50%.
- For example, if your revenue loss is 60% you will get a CERS of 40% + (1.25x10%) = 52.5% rent subsidy.
Those with 70% or more revenue loss will receive a 65% rent subsidy.
|Revenue Loss||Rent Subsidy Calculation|
|Up to 50%||CERS = Revenue loss % x 0.8|
|Between 50% and 70%||CERS = 40% + [1.25 x(Revenue loss - 50%)]|
|70% and greater||CERS = 65%|
Note: businesses required to shut down due to a public health order are eligible for a maximum 90% subsidy.
Use the CRA calculator to determine your CERS amount.
The following table is a summary of the CERS calculation:
|Revenue Loss (%)||Base Subsidy||Total Subsidy % = A + B
Top-Up Subsidy: Shut down due to public health orders?
|A. Base Subsidy: For revenue loss 0%-50%:
Multiply by 0.8
|B. For revenue loss >50%:
Multiple incremental amount over 50% by 1.25%
|60%||40%||10% x 1.25 = 12.5%||52.5%||77.5%|
|70%||40%||20% x 1.25 = 25%||65%||90%|
|80%||40%||25% (maximum reached)||65%||90%|
*The percentages shown in the table are for a business that is shut down for the full 28 days of the period. Businesses shut down for fewer days will be entitled to a smaller top-up.
Periods 11 – 14 (July 4, 2021, to October 23, 2021):
|Revenue Decline||Period 11
July 4 – 31
Aug. 1 - 28
Aug. 29 – Sept. 25
Sept. 26 – Oct. 23
|>10-50%||(Revenue decline -10%) x 0.875||(Revenue decline -10%) x 0.625||(Revenue decline-10%) x 0.625||(Revenue decline – 10%) x 0.25|
|50-69%||35% + (revenue decline -50%) x 1.25||25% + (revenue decline – 50%) x 0.75||25% + (revenue decline – 50% x 0.75||10% + (revenue decline – 50%) x 0.5|
|70% and over||60%||40%||40%||20%|
|Top-up Subsidy for businesses forced to close.||25%||25%||25%||25%|
You will be eligible for an additional 25% top up if your business is forced to temporarily close or significantly restrict operations for one week or longer due to a COVID-19 related public health order.
The public health order must require you stop or restrict business activities. Restricted activities must account for at least 25% of total revenues at the relevant location during the prior reference period.
Example 1: A restaurant is required to close its dine-in service due to a public health order but is allowed to remain open for take-out service. The restaurant’s dine-in revenues must have accounted for at least 25% of revenues during period 1 to be eligible for the top-up in period 2.
Example 2: A clothing retailer is required to completely close and therefore has no revenues for a given period. The retailer will receive the 65% subsidy, plus the 25% top-up for each day closed or restricted for a possible total of 90% rent subsidy for the period(s) they are completely shut down.
Restrictions that do not qualify your business for the top up:
- Requiring masks for staff and/or customers
- Restricted or reduced hours of operation (i.e., bars and pubs required to close before midnight)
- Seating capacity limits or physical distancing requirements
Revenues for the CERS are calculated in the same way they are for the CEWS. To calculate your revenue drop, you can choose one of the following baseline revenue options:
- General approach:Compare your business eligible revenue for the claim period month in 2020/2021 you are applying for with your eligible business revenue for the same month in 2019.
- Alternative approach: Compare your business eligible revenue for the claim period month in 2020/2021 you are applying for with your average eligible business revenue for the months of January and February 2020.
March 14, 2021, to April 10, 2021
March 2021 over March 2019
February 2021 over February 2019
March 2021 or February 2021 over average of January and February 2020
April 11, 2021, to May 8, 2021
April 2021 over April 2019
March 2021 over March 2019
April 2021 or March 2021 over average of January and February 2020
May 9, 2021, to June 5, 2021
May 2021 over May 2019
April 2021 over April 2019
May 2021 or April 2021 over average of January and February 2020
June 6, 2021, to July 3, 2021
June 2021 over June 2019 or May 2021 over May 2019
June 2021 or May 2021 over average of January and February 2020
July 4, 2021, to July 31, 2021
July 2021 over July 2019 or June 2021 over June 2019
July 2021 or June 2021 over average of January and February 2020
August 1, 2021, to August 28, 2021
August 2021 over August 2019 or July 2021 over July 2019
August 2021 or July 2021 over average of January and February 2020
August 29, 2021, to September 25, 2021
September 2021 over September 2019 or August 2021 over August 2019
September 2021 or August 2021 over average of January and February 2020
September 26, 2021, to October 23, 2021
October 2021 over October 2019 or September 2021 over September 2019
October 2021 or September 2021 over an average of January and February 2020*
When calculating your revenue loss, use your revenues from the calendar month and not the claim period. You can use the higher revenue reduction of the two calendar months that fall within the claim period to maximise your subsidy.
These elections are CRA’s way of confirming if you are calculating your CERS revenues differently from the revenues that you regularly submit to CRA.
If in your CERS application, you chose to change your revenues in one (or more) of the below ways be sure to check the corresponding election box correctly. This must be consistent with your CEWS elections. If you have not made any changes to your revenue, then please indicate that you have not made any of the elections in your Attestation form (RC 665-20e).
|How are you calculating your CERS revenues differently from the revenues that you regularly submit to CRA?||Simplified: if yes to any of these questions check the corresponding election box.|
|A joint election, along with each other member of the group of eligible employers that prepares consolidated financial statements, under paragraph 125.7(4)(a) of the Income Tax Act (revenue determined on a non-consolidated basis for members of the employer's group).||Did you combine/separate your financial statements with other entities?|
|A joint election, along with each other member of the affiliated group, under paragraph 125.7(4)(b) of the Income Tax Act (revenue determined on a consolidated basis for the employer's group).||Do you have other affiliated groups that you are consolidating your revenues with?|
|An election under paragraph 125.7(4)(c) of the Income Tax Act (joint venture election).||Is the entity a joint venture (by 2+ parties) and does it have its own revenues that are used separately from the other parties?|
|A joint election, along with each person or partnership with which the employer does not deal at arm's length and from whom the employer earns all or substantially all of its qualifying revenue under paragraph 125.7(4)(d) of the Income Tax Act (non-arm's length revenue). Accountant recommended.||Is the revenue received in majority (CRA says 90%+), from a non-arm’s length source?|
|An election under paragraph 125.7(4)(e) of the Income Tax Act (cash method or accrual method).||Did you switch your accounting method?
|A joint election between eligible entity and the seller of an asset an election under paragraph 125.7 (4.1) (e) of the Income Tax Act (Asset sales). Accountant recommended.||Did you acquire a business or part of a business during the qualifying period (or before that) and it was:
|An election under clause (b)(ii)(B) of the definition "prior reference period" in subsection 125.7(1) of the Income Tax Act.||Did you use the alternative approach (average of Jan/Feb)?|
|An election under subparagraph (a)(ii) or (b)(ii) of the definition "qualifying revenue" in subsection 125.7(1) of the Income Tax Act (election by registered charity or not-for-profit (including a prescribed organization that is a registered charity or a not-for-profit organization that is a public institution), to exclude government funding).||Are you a registered charity or non-for profit who decided to exclude government funding?|
You will have to determine whether the relationship between the property owner and tenant/subtenant is at arm’s length or non-arm's length because it will affect eligibility.
Non-arm’s length relationships can be more simply viewed as family, significant others, partnerships, or businesses where one partner has controlling interest/voting shares.
Arm’s-length relationships can be viewed as any other individuals or corporations that are treated without preference, and with no blood, trust or controlling relationship.
Unsure if your relationship is arm’s-length or non- arm’s length? Check CRA’s website.
An affiliated entity is an organization that is directly or indirectly controlled by another entity. An example of this would be a subsidiary company. More examples are shared on the government’s FAQ.
Possibly, but it's complicated. There are elections that allow for the holding company to apply for CERS. Under these elections, the Holdco & Opco revenues can be consolidated. Things to note:
- Your CERS and CEWS revenue calculations should be consistent. Your elections must match up.
- Rent is not eligible, but other arm’s-length eligible expenses for the holding company may be eligible (e.g., property taxes, mortgage and property insurance)
- A holding company will be eligible for the lockdown (top-up) support, providing they meet all the other applicable conditions.
If your business is in this situation:
- Check the list of elections from the Income Tax Act
- Speak to your accountant
- Call CRA business enquiries at 1-800-959-5525
The missed rent from May to September is not included in this program. CFIB continues to advocate to make this available to those who have fallen through the cracks of support.
To prepare, ensure that you have access to your MyBA or Represent a Client portals and that the people who deal with this information (those applying on your business’ behalf) have the proper authorities. Before you start your application, you should have your:
- Monthly qualifying revenue amounts from 2019 and 2020
- The eligible expenses broken down by business location
- The property address
- The name and contact information for your
- mortgage holder (for property owners)
- landlord (for renters)
- Affiliated entities also require the following:
- Number of affiliated entities in the agreement
- Percentage assigned to you under the agreement with your affiliated entities
- Business number of each affiliated entity
- Percentage assigned to each affiliated entity under the agreement
The only way to apply for the CERS is through MyBA or Represent a client. There is no paper version or any other non-electronic method to apply for the CERS.
- Direct deposit: 3-8 days after filing your claim.
- Cheque by mail: 7-17 days after filing your claim (mail service dependent). Ensure your address on your MyBA is up to date as this is where CRA will send your cheque.
If you have not heard anything 8 days after filing your claim, you can call the CRA Business enquiries line (1-800-959-5525) for a status update. Please prepare for long wait times.
You can cancel or amend a previous application via either My Business Account or Represent a Client. The deadline is 180 days after the end of the period to change or increase the amount of your claim.
If you need to cancel or reduce the amount of your claim after the deadline you can do so by calling the CRA’s business enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525.
More information on changing or cancelling a claim can be found on the CRA website.
CERS replaced the CECRA, which ended on September 30, 2020, for new applications and October 30, 2020, for extensions. If you received CECRA funding this will not impact your CERS. For more information on the CECRA program, view our CECRA FAQ. Please note that the program is no longer available, and we are not updating our FAQ.
Other CERS resources
- CFIB letter to Minister Chrystia Freeland - Extending federal support programs for small businesses at current subsidy rate level
- CFIB Letter to Minister Freeland – CERS Gaps (December 2020)
- CFIB Letter to Minister Freeland – Additional CERS Gaps (February 2021)
- CRA – CERS calculator
- CRA CERS Who can apply
- CRA Contact us about CERS
- CERS program announcement
- Rent relief timeline
- Previous CECRA FAQ
Want more information on the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy? Watch our webinar, with CRA experts fielding questions about the program.
How is CFIB advocating for small businesses on rent?
What we have achieved:
What we're pushing for:
- Pay 50% of rents retroactively for those who qualified for CECRA from April to September 2020 but did not get the support due to the landlord’s lack of participation.
- Allow new businesses (who opened in 2020 or 2021) to access CERS, along with other COVID relief programs.
- Make rent paid between non-arm's-length entities eligible for CERS.
- Remove the requirement that rent be paid in full within 60 days of a business receiving CERS funds.
- Sign our petition to fix the gaps in COVID relief.
What you can do to help:
- We’ve pushed the government to make some progress, but we're still fighting for better relief measures. Add your voice today.
Our primary concern at CFIB is making sure you have the support you need to get through this uncertain and challenging time. We provide you with expert advice and ensure that you have all of the latest information on government announcements and available support.