Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account to offer support to small businesses during COVID-19.
At a press conference on Friday, Trudeau said that eligible businesses will now be able to access a second loan under CEBA, should they need the additional support.
Originally launched in April 2020, CEBA provides interest-free loans to small businesses and non-profits to cover expenses that cannot be avoided or deferred. To date, the program has helped almost 800,000 small businesses across the country, Trudeau said.
Beginning on December 4, eligible small businesses will be able to access a second CEBA loan of up to $20,000, on top of the initial $40,000 loan.
Of the newly announced financing, $10,000 will be forgivable if repaid by the end of 2022.
The measures will protect jobs and ensure that small businesses don’t have to close their doors, Trudeau said.
The prime minister encouraged all Canadians to “do their part” and support local business and restaurants this holiday season.
“Small business owners are our neighbours and our friends. They’re incredibly hard working, devoted people,” Trudeau said. “They’re there at the heart of our communities, there at the foundation of our economy.”
“This is the time where we need to be there for each other.”