Back in Business? Spring Update on Small Business Debt and CEBA

  • As of this spring, four out of ten business owners are still in a difficult debt situation, and half are making below normal revenues.
  • Nine in ten businesses have accessed CEBA loans, but only 10% of them have fully repaid their CEBA loan to date, while 78% have not made any payments yet.
  • Four in ten CEBA users are at risk of missing the current repayment deadline and losing the forgivable portion of their CEBA loan after 2023. CFIB projects this puts a quarter million businesses at risk of closure after the end of this year.
  • Even among those who indicate they will meet the 2023 deadline, half say they will struggle to do so.
  • A strong majority (72%) of all CEBA users would like to see debt repayment deadlines deferred by one year (30%) or two years (42%). Only 19% of SMEs believe that the current deadline is reasonable for them.

This report provides an analysis of the current debt situation confronting Canadian small businesses while exploring the various implications that the looming December 31, 2023 CEBA repayment deadline could potentially have on most Canadian business owners.

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