The federal government has officially expanded the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). Starting today, eligible small businesses can access up to $20,000 in loan funding on top of the $40,000 they can already access.
To apply for the additional funding, applicants must contact the financial institution that provided their initial CEBA loan.
The Liberals originally announced plans to add the top-up during its September throne speech. The roll-out of this additional loan comes one month after the government made the CEBA available to businesses that did not have a business bank account before March 1. The application deadline for CEBA has also officially been extended to March 31, 2021, which was first committed to in the recent fall economic update.
That economic update also mentioned the now-available interest-free $20,000 loan. With this new addition, the size of the CEBA loans has increased from the existing $40,000 to $60,000 for eligible businesses. Half of this additional amount, up to $10,000, is forgivable if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.
“Expanding CEBA loans to $60,000 will help give hard-working Canadian business owners the support they need to weather today’s challenges and build towards a brighter future,” said Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade Mary Ng.
Launched in April, the CEBA provides interest-free loans to small businesses and non-profits to help them cover costs that cannot be avoided or deferred during the pandemic. According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the program has helped almost 800,000 small businesses across the country to date.
To apply for the additional loan funding, businesses and not-for-profits need to contact the financial institution that provided their initial CEBA loan. The government noted although the additional $20,000 may not be available at all participating financial institutions on December 4, it is expected to be available “soon.”
Since its launch, the government has made several significant modifications to CEBA. Earlier this year, the payroll eligibility range for the loans was expanded to between $20,000 and $1.5 million, a previous version of the program set the minimum payroll eligibility at $40,000. The CEBA was also made available to businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors, and family-owned corporations paid in the form of dividends.