ACTA Commends Rent Relief Program, Continues Lobbying For Ban On Evictions

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Wendy Paradis

ACTA says it commends the federal government’s announcement that commercial rents would be eligible for relief as part of the new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA). 

“Rent has been one of the most significant expense issues identified by ACTA travel agency members,“ said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA. 

“With the federal government’s announcement of an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the CECRA for small businesses, it should help those storefront travel agencies weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The program will lower rent by 75% for businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent which have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues. Travel agencies will have to work with their landlord as it is expected that the CECRA will not be operational until mid-May. 

The issue remains that not all provinces have banned commercial evictions. 

“The caveat is that tenants who need rent relief can only get help if their landlords join the program -- and currently there is no national ban on commercial evictions,” said Paradis. “New Brunswick is the only province to have banned commercial evictions under its state of emergency. ACTA along with a number of other associations will continue to lobby the federal government and other provincial governments to follow New Brunswick’s lead.”

The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June. The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenant’s rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent. 

“ACTA will also continue to lobby the government on the fact that our industry will lag behind other industries in recovery and an extension of this program will be required,” said Paradis.

Further details on CERCA will be announced at a later time. 

New ACTA Campaign Prompts Over 1,500 Letters Sent To Gov't Officials

Last week, ACTA launched a new letter writing campaign asking the government for aid specifically for the travel agency sector. 

In just over 24 hours, ACTA says that more than 1,500 letters were emailed to MPs, the Prime Minister, key Cabinet Ministers, members of the COVID-19 Cabinet Committee, and MPP/MLAs by travel agencies and travel agents.

ACTA has provided step by step instructions and a sample letter to assist agents interested in participating. 

ACTA also encourages agents to continue retweeting ACTA’s social media posts. 

"Twitter is the preferred form of social media within the government and the Parliamentary Press Gallery, and hence our focused attention on targeting messaging through this communication tool," says ACTA.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.


Comments

Hanya Vujcuf - April 28, 2020 @ 17:28
The only way that agencies can survive for 8 months with no business coming into the agency is a GRANT from the government.
Most clients have vouchers for future travel that we can not benefit from.
If clients travel, the will not decide until November/December for travel 2021 and only put deposits down as they will wait till the last minute to pay the full payment (this way, clients will not lose 100's or 1000's dollars)
we are controlled by all suppliers and can not add a higher price and if agencies put a service fees on top of the air or package costs, we can lose the business and the clickets will book thru the supplier directly
his means we will not make any money for over 1 year to pay rent and expenses.
that is my suggestion. Grants to offer travel agencies
i have been in the travel industry for over 37 years and this is the worst i have even seen in our industry.
possibly some airlines and tour operators may close up completely within 1 year
hopefully the travel industry can bounce back in a shorter time period than what i am perdicting

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