Tag: hoped

CEBA loan extension hoped for by Canada’s small businesses

OTTAWA –


As the deadline to repay pandemic loans and receive partial forgiveness approaches, small businesses are still hoping the federal government will reverse course and extend it for another year.


Nearly 900,000 organizations applied for and received a Canada Emergency Business Account loan during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal program offered up to $60,000 in interest-free loans to help businesses and non-profits survive related shutdowns and slowdowns.


A total of $49.2 billion was disbursed through the program.


Up to one third of the loans can be forgiven if businesses pay back the outstanding amount by Jan. 18, 2024.


Those that miss that deadline would lose out on the forgivable portion and see their debts converted to a three-year loan with interest of five per cent annually.


Businesses were offered the chance to refinance their loans with a financial institution instead. Those that did were given until March 28, 2024, to get that in order and still be eligible for the forgivable portion of the loan.


Business groups have been calling for more time to pay back the loans, pointing to ongoing challenges facing small businesses after the pandemic.


But with just over two months until the deadline, the chances of another extension are dwindling.


“Federal support has been instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet many businesses are still grappling with rising costs, labour shortages and persistent operational issues,” Kate Fenske, chair of the International Downtown Association of Canada, said Monday at a news conference on Parliament Hill.


“Hence our immediate call is for an additional extension for the repayment of CEBA loans,” she said.


The federal government has already made several changes to the CEBA program in order to provide businesses recovering from the pandemic more flexibility.