CEBA repayment deadline is tomorrow: Hundreds of thousands of small businesses will see their pandemic debt rise by 50% on Friday

Toronto, January 17, 2024 - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is very disappointed the federal government has ignored the pleas of tens of thousands of small business owners to give them more time to repay their Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans in order to keep the forgivable portion.

Business owners looking to secure the forgivable portion must repay up to $40,000 or apply for a refinancing loan with the bank that issued their original CEBA loan by tomorrow, January 18, 2024. If they miss this deadline, most businesses will see their CEBA debt rise by 50% from $40,000 to $60,000.

“Ottawa failed to address the most critical issue on outstanding CEBA loans—the loss of the forgivable portion. I believe the government will regret the decision to not grant more time as small businesses fail and default on their entire loan. For many businesses, CEBA will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly.

CFIB’s advocacy and push for an extension has garnered support from all 13 Canadian premiers and three federal parties (The New Democratic Party, Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party) along with over 57,000 signatures on CFIB’s petition.

CFIB has also been fighting for fairness for businesses who have been deemed ineligible, including pushing the government for a multi-year repayment plan for these businesses and ensuring those who were deemed ineligible in error don’t lose out on the forgivable portion of the loan. 

The whole process around CEBA has been a mess right from the start. Even now, many bank staff do not understand the process around the refinancing extension to March 28. CFIB is urging all businesses looking to use this provision to send an immediate written request for refinancing to their original CEBA bank and keep any documentation they’ve submitted. “We are calling on government to give small businesses every benefit of the doubt given the lack of clarity and consistency from government and the banks,” Kelly added.

CFIB has created a flow chart and a list of resources to help CEBA loan holders better understand their next steps.

“The past few years have been tough, but CFIB will continue to speak up on behalf of small businesses struggling to get back on their feet,” said Corinne Pohlmann, Executive Vice-President of Advocacy.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at