The federal government has extended the application deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program to June 30.
Launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, the CEBA provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses, to help cover their operating costs such as rent, utilities, and insurance. Companies that repay the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will receive loan forgiveness of up to 33 percent, or up to $20,000. The CEBA program was originally slated to end on March 31.
“The extension will allow more businesses to access the support they need as Canada’s economy continues to deal with localized public health restrictions and, for a number of businesses, reduced opening hours or reduced demand for services,” the government said in a statement. “Extending the application deadline to June 2021 also aligns CEBA with the timelines of other federal government support programs for business.”
In December, the government officially expanded the CEBA to give eligible small businesses access to up to $20,000 in loan funding on top of the $40,000 they can already access. As of March 18, more than 850,000 CEBA loans have been approved, and nearly $45 billion has been loaned out through the program.
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This latest deadline extension applies to any new applications for CEBA loans of $60,000 or to new applications from businesses that have already received the $40,000 loan and intend to apply for the additional $20,000.
To qualify for the CEBA, applicants must meet either the payroll eligibility criteria or they must demonstrate a minimum of $40,000 in eligible non-deferrable expenses. Applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 need to show that they meet additional CEBA eligibility requirements.
“Recognizing that businesses are facing challenges as we continue to fight the pandemic, we are extending the CEBA deadline to ensure they have the essential support they need,” said Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng.
Image source Justin Trudeau via Flickr.