Premier Ford asked to step up to Save Main Street Businesses

Toronto, ON – Tomorrow, April 16th, commercial landlords can lock the doors of small businesses that have not paid their April rent.

“This could mean boarded up stores along the Danforth, Queen, Gerrard and Pape as well as commercial streets throughout Toronto,” said Councillor Paula Fletcher. “Without action, it could take years for small businesses to recover.”

Last month Premier Ford acted to protect residential tenants from threat of eviction during the coronavirus pandemic. Commercial tenants currently have no such protection.

Philip Kocev, Broker at iPro Realty Ltd. and Treasurer of the Broadview-Danforth BIA said, “Many of our members are in a desperate situation as they have seen their incomes evaporate. With very small profit margins as it is, many face losing their location in days if there isn’t a protection on evictions. Without rent relief it will take years for them to recover, if at all.”

“We have seen our community turn around in the last several years,” said Dave Watson, Riverside BIA Board member and owner of Eastbound Brewing Company. “We need the Premier to step in and help our businesses survive this pandemic so we can return to providing jobs and services once it’s over.”

If businesses are preserved, they will be able to come back strong sooner than if they are wiped out and new people have to start from scratch.

“Premier Ford can act fast to put laws in place protecting commercial tenants from being evicted. He can bring in commercial rent subsidies to protect small businesses and their landlords for the next few months, and he can keep our main streets from being devastated,” said Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns. “Action now can protect our businesses and our communities. It is in the premier’s hands.”