CFIB statement on Premiers’ letter calling for a CEBA extension

Toronto, October 20, 2023 - Today, all 13 of Canada’s Premiers demonstrated that they are listening to the urgent concerns of Canada’s SMEs by calling on Ottawa for a full one-year extension to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan forgivable deadline. CFIB thanks them for their leadership on this issue.

After the disappointing and misleading announcement from the federal government on extending CEBA loans, CFIB and small business owners from across the country have put massive pressure, including nearly 50,000 petitions from small business owners, on Ottawa to reconsider its approach. Ottawa’s announcement of a one-year extension to the CEBA loan deadline did not apply to the most immediate and critical deadline small businesses are facing. In less than three months, small business owners will lose the forgivable portion of the CEBA loan unless they have the money to repay by January 18, 2024. This will increase their total debt by up to 50%.

CFIB has been lobbying everyone who will listen on the urgency of extending the forgivable deadline by a year —pushing it to December 31, 2024. Most small firms have yet to recover from two years of on-and-off COVID restrictions. Only half of small firms are back to 2019 levels of sales and the average business has taken on $100,000 in new debt just to survive. If Ottawa can find billions of funding for giant multinational car companies in the matter of weeks, surely it can allow Canada’s small businesses more time to repay a loan they were forced to take on just to survive the pandemic.

Canada’s Premiers are clearly listening. CFIB is calling on federal leaders to do the same.

- Dan Kelly, President, CFIB

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:

Milena Stanoeva, 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