The Government of Canada announced that it is extending applications for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) until October 31.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland made the announcement Monday morning, noting that this gives small businesses an additional two months to apply to the $40,000 small business loan program.
The federal government said it is also working with financial institutions to extend CEBA to businesses that handle transactions through personal bank accounts. Freeland stated that more details on the changes will be made public soon.
According to Freeland, as of August 27, more than 730,000 CEBA loans amounting to $29 billion have been handed out to small businesses.
It is also a huge relief to see the #CEBA application deadline extended until the end of October. This will give many the time to fix the many challenges of CEBA 3.0 too.
— Dan Kelly (@CFIB) August 31, 2020
The extension of CEBA comes as good news to business organizations like the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), which has been calling for the expansion of CEBA, as well as the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), as the programs were set to expire at the end of August.
When asked whether the federal government is considering extending CECRA, Minister of Small Businesses, Mary Ng, said “we are absolutely working on that.” Ng, as well as Freeland, acknowledged that they are aware small businesses are waiting for a response, with the newly appointed finance minister calling on landlords to “step up and play your part.”
Freeland pushed away questions about whether CECRA was coming to an end, stating that she has been in conversation with provincial and territorial finance ministers and there would be more details coming “very soon.”
CEBA is a Government of Canada COVID-19 relief program designed to help businesses access loans to stay afloat during COVID-19. The $55 billion program offers federally guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits that are interest-free for the first year. Under the program’s terms, repaying the balance of CEBA loans received on or before December 31, 2022 results in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to a total of $10,000).