B.C.'s finance minister says rent relief extension for business aids recovery

VICTORIA — British Columbia's finance minister says the province welcomes a federal government decision to extend help to businesses struggling with rent payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carole James says B.C. has been seeking additional support for business owners and tenants affected by closures or other measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program is extended until the end of August.

James says businesses need that help to recover and reopen.

She also says B.C.'s emergency order protecting eligible businesses from eviction remains in place for the duration of the federal rent assistance program.

James says the eviction ban will protect small businesses that should be eligible for relief but whose landlords have not applied for the support.

"I encourage both commercial landlords and tenants to work collaboratively and apply for this program, so we can ensure our B.C. businesses are in a better position financially as we transition into recovery," James says in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first issued July 31, 2020

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