Councillor Josh Matlow

Letter to the Province Regarding the Need for An Immediate Rent Relief Plan for Small Businesses and Commercial Landlords

Hon. Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
7th Floor, 56 Wellesley St. W
M7A 2E7

March 31st, 2020

Re: Rent support for small business owners and Landlords

Dear Minister Sarkaria,

I am writing to you as the Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction on behalf of many small business owners, and their Landlords, who are concerned about being able to pay or receive rent tomorrow, April 1st. While the health and safety of our residents are of course the top priority, we must also work to ensure that the drivers of our local economy are in a position to contribute when we make it to the other side of the COVID -19 crisis.

While the federal government has agreed to provide significant wage subsidies, and other measures, to ensure that small businesses are able to retain their workforce, little is being done to ensure that the owners, and their landlords, are able to stay afloat during the pandemic. I have heard from far too many business owners that they will be evicted if they are unable to pay rent, forcing them to shutter their doors and lay off workers.

Please provide small business owners and their landlords with:

  • Immediate Rent Relief: small business owners need direct support to pay their rent now and during the course of the pandemic. Rent deferrals, while appreciated, only delay financial issues and add to the mounting debt that many small business owners are accruing during this crisis.

Rent support from your government for small businesses will help ensure that our main streets return more vibrant than ever on the other side of this pandemic.

Thank you for your continued work to support small businesses.

Councillor Josh Matlow
City Councillor Toronto – St. Paul’s

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