new ceba rules

Canada just announced changes to CEBA to expand loan eligibility

Between the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) and the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), Canadian businesses have a number of ways to secure some financial assistance during what is likely the hardest few months they've ever had to endure.

But, there have still been those that have fallen through the cracks and haven't been able to access any of the funding, whether it's because they didn't meet the criteria for any of the above options or their landlord isn't applying to CECRA.

So, the federal government has worked to expand the requirements for the programs so that more businesses can benefit. It started last week when they made additional types of businesses eligible for the CEWS and extended its timeline, and now they've amended the rules for the CEBA once again as well.

In mid-April, the window for how much businesses qualifying for CEBA had to have spent on payroll last year was extended in both directions, and as of Tuesday, more business owners will also be able to apply.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement for businesses and non-profits that "still need help" at his media briefing on May 19, saying that previously ineligible groups like sole owner-operators of a business, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned businesses that pay employees through dividends can now receive the Ottawa-backed loan of up to $40,000.

Examples of the above would be hair salons that rent chairs out to their stylists or independent gyms that hire personal trainers on a contract basis.

Trudeau also said that his team is looking at "potential solutions" to help other business proprietors who have thus far been ineligible for assistance, such as those who do not have a business bank account separate from their personal one or that are too new to have yet filed a tax return.

He also took a moment to continue to encourage all businesses who are able to apply for the CEWS to do so, as it is a cornerstone of the reopening of Canada's economy and will help get people back to work and start things back up again.

"Businesses like yours are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our communities," the PM said. "Please rehire your workers and use the wage subsidy for their paycheque — that's what it's there for."

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