Premiers Ask Trudeau to Extend Covid-19 Small-Business Loan Repayment Period

Canada’s premiers have written a collective letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging the federal government to extend for 1 year the repayment period for interest-free loans given to small businesses and non-profits during the pandemic.

The loans were part of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) initiative, offering interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to support small businesses.

The premiers argue that small businesses, like most Canadians, are grappling with the increasing costs of housing, groceries, and daily essentials, and are now facing the challenges of higher inflation and interest rates as they work towards post-pandemic recovery. 

They are requesting an extension of the CEBA loan repayment period for an additional year to provide small businesses with more time to qualify for loan forgiveness.

The current repayment deadline for the emergency loans, to qualify for partial loan forgiveness, is set for January 18, 2024. The CEBA program approved $49.2 billion in loans to support small businesses and nonprofits during the pandemic.

This request from the premiers follows previous appeals to the Bank of Canada by premiers Doug Ford of Ontario and Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador to consider the human impact of further interest rate increases, given their potential to exacerbate housing costs. 

The premiers are united in their call for support to help Canadians navigate these challenging times. 

The federal government approved CEBA loans for nearly 900,000 businesses, with 571,851 businesses receiving expansion loans of $20,000.


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