Over 900,000 Canadian small businesses had to take on a CEBA loan just to survive two years of lockdowns and business restrictions. And CEBA loans form just a part of the average $110,000 in COVID-related debt inherited by two-thirds of Canada’s small business owners.

For a strong and lasting economic recovery, the federal government must establish a plan to help small firms reduce their COVID debt burdens. Add your voice to thousands of other business owners across the country and ask government to make small business recovery a priority.

Two hands exchanging money representing the SMEs unable to repay their CEBA loan

Only 10% of small businesses have been able to fully repay their CEBA loan.

The words Bills and Debtor on a cellphone, representing the fact that SMEs are carrying pandemic-related debt

72% of small businesses need more time to repay CEBA loans.

The word Sales with a dollar sign representing the fact that not all of SMEs are making normal sales

49% of small businesses are still making below normal revenues.

Highlights of CFIB's COVID-19 work

Thanks to the surveys our members have filled out, CFIB has been able to show politicians what kind of relief business owners need. Through thousands of meetings, calls, letters and media appearances, we have successfully fought for improvements to the key aid programs available to small businesses.

Wage subsidy

After the initial 10% wage subsidy was announced in March, we successfully fought to raise it to 75% and for the subsidy to be given on a sliding scale – meaning businesses with any revenue loss qualified for something. We also pushed the government to extend it to fall 2021, which it has done.

Rent assistance

Learning from the failures of the CECRA program, CFIB told government that rent assistance should not hinge on landlord participation – which the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy addresses.

Emergency loan

CFIB has consistently fought for the expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account. So far, we’ve gotten the government to include businesses without payroll; expand the loan to $60,000 (from $40,000); increase the forgivable portion to $20,000; and allow access to businesses using personal bank accounts.

Your support matters. Here's why.

We fully appreciate having received the CEBA loan and we would not have stayed in business without it. We would benefit if the government were to extend the deadline to Dec. 2024, in order to provide more time for us to recover. Drop in sales due to the economy, people are spending less.
Small business owner - Agriculture, QC
Sales are not coming back and have dropped due to costs. Also profit margins are way down due to food costs. We will need to sell the business to pay back the CEBA loan.
Small business owner - Hospitality, ON

Dear Minister Freeland

CC: My Member of Parliament

My small business had to take on significant debt just to survive two years of lockdown and restrictions. I can't be expected to recover overnight!

Delaying the repayment of the massive debt burden facing small businesses like mine increases the odds that we will get back to doing what we do best — creating jobs and economic activity for Canadians!

I urge you to:

  • Extend the repayment deadline of the CEBA loan for an additional year or two (December 2025).
  • Increase the forgivable portion to at least 50% and allow all recipients who took the loan in good faith but are now deemed ineligible to keep the forgivable portion.