On Monday, Canada’s NDP renewed their call to the Minister of Finance to extend the deadline for Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans, as small businesses who relied on these loans during the pandemic have faced a slow recovery with the cost-of-living crisis.
Small businesses have been struggling with supply chain issues, and the high costs of groceries, heating, rent and mortgages. Yesterday, with the Bank of Canada raising interest rates yet again, it’s even more imperative for small businesses to have more time to repay their loans, says the NDP.
“Across Northern Ontario, I see how hard owners of small businesses work every day to keep afloat,” said NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay). “They provide such essential goods and services and employment to the community, and they need a federal partner to help them out through these tough times.”
CEBA needs to be repaid by the end of the year if owners are to still be eligible for a 33 per cent loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 and avoid five per cent interest on the outstanding loan. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has been calling on the government to move the repayment deadline for CEBA.
Over 300,000 small businesses in Ontario were approved for CEBA loans, and in a recent survey, 54 per cent of Ontario businesses expressed anxiety over whether they can stay afloat without the extension.
“Instead of sitting on their hands and doing nothing, the Liberals need to start listening and responding to the needs of small businesses,” said NDP MP Carol Hughes (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing). “Businesses in my riding, such as Island General Merchandise and Island Promotional Products, suffered huge losses during the pandemic, and business is finally starting to pick up. The Liberals love to give favours to corporate giants, while leaving small businesses behind. It shouldn’t be this way! This government must extend the repayment deadline so that small businesses aren’t put at risk and can finally get ahead.”
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