City of Vancouver Launches Commercial Tenant Assistance Program

Small businesses are key to vibrant and sustainable communities. They contribute to our local economy, while providing convenience and essential services to nearby residents. In an effort to enhance decision making and relocation planning for these small businesses, the City of Vancouver has launched the Commercial Tenant Assistance Program (CTAP).

CTAP’s goal is to ensure all commercial tenants in Vancouver enjoy equal access to reliable and consistent information relating to relocation planning. It is designed to take an equitable approach to uplifting marginalized businesses, with a focus on:

  • Small independent businesses, including heritage and family-run businesses
  • Businesses owned or operated by Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (IBPOC), non-English speaking, ethnic, newcomer, or other equity-denied communities
  • Non-profit organizations, social enterprises, arts and culture, and food assets

Commercial Tenant Assistance Program – Resource Guides

Covering areas like commercial tenant basics, lease negotiations and city processes, the City of Vancouver has created six resource guides to assist commercial tenants in planning their relocation and finding support. Each of these guides is available in English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Punjabi, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

Commercial Tenant Basics

This guide contains information on:

  • Commercial tenancy
  • Legal and regulatory protections

Lease Negotiation

This guide contains information on:

  • How commercial leases work
  • Common clauses and terms explained


This guide contains information on:

  • Relocation options, timing and steps
  • Finding a space: How to ensure it’s a good fit
  • Change of use and other regulatory requirements
  • Renovating a new space and the permit process


This guide contains information on:

  • Redevelopment and zoning
  • The development review process and timeline (an overview)

City Processes

This guide contains information on:

  • Business licences
  • Permits and inspections for a new space
  • Renovating a new space


This guide contains information on:

  • Commercial tenant supports and resources
  • The glossary

Other City of Vancouver Business Resources

Small Business Commercial Renovation Centre

The City of Vancouver small business Commercial Renovation Centre assists small business owners with navigating regulations, permitting and procedures for moving, setting-up, or renovating a business.

Business Licence Office

The destination to apply for, change, or renew a business licence in the City of Vancouver

Business Communication and Support Office

The Business Communication and Support Office (BCSO) provides a single point of contact for Vancouver business owners to get information about re-opening protocols, business support programs, and city initiatives and services to support businesses.

How Small Business BC Can Help

No matter what stage of your business journey you’re at, Small Business BC has the resources you need to succeed. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our selection of business articles.