The federal government is extending the repayment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program to support small businesses.
Last year, on December 14, the government announced that the deadline would be extended but did not provide a date. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the new deadline for borrowers to repay the loan is December 31, 2023.
“Canadian small businesses, you have shown incredible resilience throughout this pandemic, and our government will continue to be there for you to support you as we have over the past two years,” Trudeau said.
The CEBA program was launched on April 9, 2020, to help businesses finance expenses that “cannot be avoided or deferred” to support the reopening of the economy. As of October 21 last year, the CEBA program stopped accepting new applications.
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“I want to remind employers that the wage subsidy is retroactive, so if you’re making decisions right now whether to keep people on to the coming weeks or not, know that that wage subsidy will be there to help you,” the PM said. “We want to be able to have people continue to be tied to their jobs so that we can bounce back quicker once this wave is gone and we start reopening.”
Under CEBA, Canadian businesses could receive a loan of up to $60,000. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which processes CEBA applications and loan repayments, said those who paid their loans before December 31 this year would not be charged interest and could have up to $20,000 of their loans forgiven.
To date, 898,254 businesses across the nation have been approved for CEBA loans. A total of $49.17 billion has been approved in loan and expansion funding.
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to remind Canadians of the federal rent subsidy. “People need the support to be able to keep food on the table. That’s why the wage subsidy and the rent subsidy are there, offered by the federal government, to help you make it through this difficult wave.”