Imminent CEBA Repayment Deadline: A Critical Moment for Countless Small Businesses

Imminent CEBA Repayment Deadline A Critical Moment for Countless Small Businesses

In the face of a looming repayment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has expressed deep disappointment over the federal government’s decision not to extend the deadline. This crucial cut-off date, set for January 18, 2024, is pivotal for small business owners looking to retain the forgivable portion of their CEBA loans.

To benefit from the loan forgiveness, business owners must either repay up to $40,000 or opt for a refinancing loan through the same bank that provided their initial CEBA loan by the upcoming deadline. Failing to meet this deadline will lead to a substantial 50% increase in CEBA debt, soaring from $40,000 to $60,000 for most businesses.

CFIB’s Stance and Advocacy Efforts

CFIB President Dan Kelly voiced his concern: “Ottawa failed to address the most critical issue on outstanding CEBA loans the loss of the forgivable portion. I believe the government will regret not granting more time as small businesses fail and default on their entire loan. For many businesses, CEBA will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

The CFIB’s call for an extension has garnered widespread support, including backing from all 13 Canadian premiers, three federal parties (The New Democratic Party, Bloc Quebecois, and the Green Party), and over 57,000 individuals who signed CFIB’s petition.

Additionally, CFIB has been advocating for fair treatment of businesses deemed ineligible for CEBA. They are pushing for a multi-year repayment plan and ensuring that businesses incorrectly classified as ineligible do not miss out on the loan’s forgivable portion.

Navigating the CEBA Process

The process surrounding CEBA has been fraught with confusion and inconsistency from the start. Currently, many bank employees are still unclear about the refinancing extension process, which is now extended to March 28. CFIB is advising businesses to immediately submit a written request for refinancing to their original CEBA bank and to keep all related documentation.

“We are calling on the government to give small businesses every benefit of the doubt given the lack of clarity and consistency from government and the banks,” Kelly added.

To assist CEBA loan holders, CFIB has developed a flow chart and a list of resources to help understand the next steps.

Corinne Pohlmann, Executive Vice-President of Advocacy at CFIB, remarked, “The past few years have been tough, but CFIB will continue to speak up on behalf of small businesses struggling to get back on their feet.