Only five months left until the CEBA repayment deadline: Over 30,000 business owners sign CFIB’s petition calling for an extension

Toronto, July 31, 2023 – More than 30,000 business owners have signed a petition by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), calling for an extension to the current Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) repayment deadline.

Only five months are left until the CEBA repayment deadline on Dec. 31, 2023. If the CEBA loan is not repaid by then, small business owners will lose the up to $20,000 forgivable portion and pay the entire amount at a 5% interest rate.

“Just in the last few weeks our petition was signed by more than 11,000 business owners calling Ottawa to extend the deadline. In total, over 30,000 businesses signed the petition calling for improvements to pandemic supports, including the need to extend CEBA loans, since it was introduced. Businesses can’t wait any longer. They need a clear answer from Ottawa now,” said Corinne Pohlmann, Executive Vice-President at CFIB. “We’re not asking for total loan forgiveness—just more time. If businesses are forced to close because of their pandemic debt, government will not be able to recoup that money. It’s a win-win situation if businesses are allowed more time to repay.”

Last week, a joint letter was sent to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland calling for more time to repay CEBA loans while keeping the forgivable portion. More than 250 business associations from coast to coast and across all sectors signed on. CFIB’s research shows that one-fifth of all businesses in Canada—nearly 250,000 small businesses—could be at risk of closing their doors next year unless the federal government changes the deadline.

CFIB is pushing the federal government to extend the repayment deadline for the CEBA loan to the end of December 2025 or at least 2024.

“Small businesses have to deal with high interest rates, inflation and shortages of labour. Most recently, many were hit by the supply chain disruptions caused by the strike at BC ports. They’re suffering one blow after another. How much more do they need to endure before Ottawa realizes it needs to extend the CEBA loan repayment deadline to provide some reprieve?” said Christina Santini, Director of National Affairs at CFIB.

Business owners can sign CFIB’s petition to extend the repayment deadline here

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