CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

Chamber of Commerce calls for more time for businesses to repay CEBA loans

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The Chamber is pushing for an extension of at least one more year, and preferably two, for businesses to repay their CEBA loans. PHOTO by Pexels.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is urging the federal government to extend its Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) repayment deadline.

The Chamber, along with over 280 industry associations, has sent a letter to minister of finance Christia Freeland asking her to delay repayment for at least one more year, and preferably two years to the end of 2025.

“The government did a good thing during the pandemic: it responded to businesses in crisis and gave them a lifeline with the CEBA loan program. But not all businesses have their heads above water yet: they’re facing extreme inflation, unreliable supply chains, and the tightest hiring market in a generation. They’re just asking for more time to pay the government back,” says Matthew Holmes, senior vice president of policy and government relations, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Almost 900,000 CEBA loans were approved across Canada.

“Despite their best efforts, high interest rates, inflation and increased labour costs are making it difficult for small-and-medium size businesses to keep their heads above water, let alone make any dent in the debt many had to take on to survive pandemic restrictions. A recent analysis of over 15,000 Canadian businesses found that inflation, input costs, and interest/debt costs are the three most acute obstacles faced by business (at 56%, 40% and 38%, respectively), and the smaller the firm, the more constrained they are by debt,” the Chamber’s letter states.

Moreover, the letter cautions that unless the federal government acts quickly to postpone the CEBA repayment deadline, businesses that are unable to repay their CEBA loan in time will lose access to the forgivable portion of up to $20,000, thus further increasing their debt load.

“Extending the repayment timeline for the CEBA loan without losing access to the forgivable portion would give many small-and-medium size businesses the stability and certainty they need to get back on their feet on a path to prosperity,” the letter concludes.

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