Canada Emergency Business Account loans: financial relief for small businesses

Making decisions easier and lives better is at the heart of everything we do. If your small business or not-for-profit has lost revenue due to COVID-19, you can apply for an interest-free loan of $60,000 from the Government of Canada with the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

How the loans will work

Businesses and not-for-profits can apply for interest-free loans of $60,000.

When CEBA first launched in May 2020, loans were limited to $40,000. Now, the Government of Canada has increased the limit to $60,000. Businesses who previously received CEBA loans of up to $40,000 can apply for an additional $20,000 loan.

Repayment option for businesses that only receive the initial $40,000 CEBA loan:

  1. If the business repays $30,000 of their loan by December 31, 2022, the remaining $10,000 of the loan will be forgiven.
  2. If the business can’t repay $30,000 of the loan by December 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be converted to a 3-year term

Repayment option for businesses that receive the entire $60,000 CEBA loan:

  1. If the business repays $40,000 of their loan by December 31, 2022, the remaining $20,000 of the loan will be forgiven.
  2. If the business can’t repay $40,000 of the loan by December 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be converted to a 3-year term loan.

The loan can only be used to pay non-deferrable operating expenses, including payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax, and regularly scheduled debt payments, and can’t be used for expenses such as prepayment/refinancing of existing debt, dividend payments, distributions, or increases in management compensation.

The Government of Canada has launched the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which has been implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC). 

Eligibility requirements

Your business or not-for-profit must satisfy these requirements to qualify for a CEBA loan:

  • Must be a Canadian business in operation with an active business number as of March 1, 2020.
  • Must have a federal tax registration.
  • Must have paid between CAD $20,000 and $1,500,000 in total employment income during 2019, OR
  • If the applicant paid less than CAD $20,000 in total employment income in the 2019 calendar year, they must:
    • Have a Canada Revenue Agency business number and filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, and
    • Have eligible non-deferrable expenses between CAD $40,000 and $1,500,000. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada.
  • Must have an active business chequing/operating account, and isn’t in arrears on existing borrowing facilities with their primary bank.
    • Note: if you currently manage your business with a personal (non-business) bank account, you may still qualify for CEBA. However, before you apply, you need to open a Business Advantage Account with your advisor. If you don't have an advisor, you can find one here.
  • The business hasn’t previously used the program and won’t apply for support under the program at any other financial institution.
  • The business intends to continue to operate its business or to resume operations.
  • The business agrees to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by the Government of Canada or its agents.

Before applying for a CEBA loan, we recommend completing the CEBA Pre-Screen Tool to see if you meet the CEBA criteria.

If you have multiple businesses that don't individually meet the eligibility requirements individually but do meet the requirements when combined, you can apply for a CEBA loan. For example, if you own two businesses, and business A paid CAD $10,000 in total employment income in 2019, and Business B also paid CAD $10,000 in total employment income in 2019, you can apply for a CEBA loan with either business. However, you can only apply for one CEBA loan.

Qualification requirements and program details may change. While we will try to keep the latest information on this page, visit the Government of Canada's CEBA site for the most current information.

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