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Nov 15, 2023

SMBs worried about CEBA repayment deadline

Small businesses (SMBs) that took out a Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan have just over 60 days to repay the loan while securing the forgivable portion of up to $20,000, and many are worried they won't be able to meet the January 18, 2024, deadline. If government doesn't extend the repayment deadline, there will be significant consequences to the whole Canadian economy, warns the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).  

A majority (87 percent) of small businesses that took on a CEBA loan said they need a further extension to the end of 2024. 

"Extending the forgivable deadline until the end of 2024 would be a key step in alleviating some of the cost pressures facing small businesses," says Corinne Pohlmann, executive vice-president of advocacy at CFIB. "If businesses fail – and according to our estimates, up to 250,000 small firms may close doors if they lose out on the forgivable portion – there will be a ripple effect on the whole Canadian economy." 

Recent Statistics Canada data showed that the COVID-19 pandemic caused more business closures in one year than the 2008/2009 financial crisis. The number of new business openings in July also reached its lowest level on record, according to Statistics Canada's latest monthly estimates. 

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