The federal government is extending the deadline for companies to repay their Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan, as many regions across the country face renewed restrictions in the wake of the Omicron variant.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Small Business and Economic Development Minister Mary Ng announced at a press conference on Wednesday that the government will extend the deadline for payments for businesses that have qualified for the CEBA program. Companies will now have until December 31, 2023 to repay the loan.
“We’ve heard from companies that they’re looking for this flexibility,” Ng said.
“This extra year will help companies have that flexibility and continue to work together through this pandemic to end this pandemic.”
Nearly 900,000 companies have been approved for CEBA, a program that grants interest-free loans between $40,000 and $60,000. When the program was first introduced, the maximum loan amount was $40,000, with the possibility of waiving $10,000 if certain conditions were met. The government expanded the total loan to $60,000 last December, allowing another $10,000 to be forgiven if the loan is paid off by the deadline. The government has approved $49.2 billion in total funds for the CEBA loan and expansion program.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has pushed the government to reopen the program for businesses as well as delaying payment requirements. Dan Kelly, CAF president, said the extension of the deadline was “good news” for small businesses.
“CEBA has been a very useful program and is used by nearly 900,000 small business owners,” Kelly said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Importantly, it’s not just a $60,000 loan, the $20,000 revocable portion is one of the few programs that help reduce COVID debt incurred by small businesses.”
Elijah Sikerska is a senior correspondent for Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter Tweet embed.
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