Small businesses in University Rosedale and across Ontario have been decimated by this pandemic. Many were offered meagre and inadequate supports and many more received nothing at all. However, even before this pandemic, small businesses were struggling.
The Better Way Alliance recently released a report that looks at the crisis of commercial rent, and proposed a plan to establish a commercial rent control system in Ontario. You can read the report here.
There are currently no commercial rent guidelines, standards or protections for small businesses. It is legal to increase rent by any amount once a contract is over, and pass on surprise bills to tenants for operating costs. Tenants have nowhere to turn – there is no advisory service or tribunal for commercial leasing matters aside from expensive lawyers and slow courts. This instability is causing too many small businesses to close.
The Ontario government should take action to help small businesses recover and grow. This could include regulating commercial rent so small businesses have certainty and can stabilize their expenses.
To better understand what the small business community in University Rosedale wants, I encourage you to fill in this survey on commercial rent control.
I also would like to hear directly from any small businesses dealing with the high cost of rent. Please reach out at [email protected].