Canada is expanding the eligibility requirements for CEBA
The Canada Emergency Business Account was first introduced last month to help small businesses struggling from the impacts of COVID-19, and now the federal government has expanded its eligibility requirements.
Speaking outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that businesses which spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million on payroll last year are now eligible for the loan.
We’re announcing changes to the Canada Emergency Business Account so more business owners can get the support they need to bridge to better times. Tune in now for the details and other updates: https://t.co/7mIuaWURph— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 16, 2020
Previously, businesses had to have spent between $50,000 and $1 million to apply.
"This is money entrepreneurs and employers can use to cover operational costs and other immediate needs," Trudeau said.
The CEBA is a $25 billion program providing government-backed loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.
In today's press conference, Trudeau said more than 149,000 loans have been approved so far, amounting to $7.5 billion in credit.
PM @JustinTrudeau expands CEBA to include more businesses. Now firms with 2019 payrolls between $20K and $1.5M will qualify. This is welcome news.— Dan Kelly (@CFIB) April 16, 2020
The loans are interest-free for the first year, and businesses that repay the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will be forgiven 25 percent of that loan (up to $10,000).
Following the initial announcement of the loan program in March, many criticized that it failed to include very small businesses as well as businesses that mainly hire contractors or have some other form of non-traditional payroll, and some small businesses have also said it simply won't be enough to save them.
While this change works to remedy the first issue, the latter two remain a reality for many businesses in Canada.
In addition to the CEBA expansion, Trudeau also announced the new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program to help commercial businesses with rent payments for April, May and June.
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