Not good enough: CFIB statement on CEBA extension

Toronto, September 14, 2023 - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is disappointed with today’s announcement on changes to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

The government has failed to address the most critical issue on outstanding CEBA loans - the loss of the $20,000 forgivable portion for those unable to repay the loans by year end. The extension of the forgivable deadline by a few weeks will be of very little value to the thousands of small business owners who just don’t have money to repay now. 

According to CFIB’s latest data, 69% of small businesses that accessed the loan have not yet been able to repay any of it. Only 18% have repaid their loan in full as of September.
CFIB has been pushing the government to make changes on the CEBA front. Just in the past few months, our CEBA petition to extend the repayment deadline has garnered over 40,000 signatures from small business owners across Canada. 

It is helpful that the government has given business owners an additional year to repay the full balance of the loan, but the plan misses the most central issue - the loss of the forgivable portion. Earlier CFIB data found that losing the forgivable portion puts at jeopardy the future of up to 250,000 small businesses.

We need a redo of this announcement and CFIB’s advocacy work will continue to push for more time to repay the loan while protecting the forgivable portion.

-    Dan Kelly, President and CEO, CFIB

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

Preliminary results for the Your Voice – September survey. The online survey is active since September 7, 2023, and will be closed September 21, 2023, number of respondents = 1,282. For comparison purposes, a probability sample with the same number of respondents would have a margin of error of at most +/-2.8%, 19 times out of 20. 

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