Expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Published: January 28, 2021


Expanding the maximum amount of the CEBA loan from $40K to $60K and extending the CEBA eligibility to Canadian businesses who haven’t been operating from a commercial banking account.

The Canada Emergency Business Account, launched in March 2020, provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help them cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus. To qualify for this program, these organizations need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. The program is implemented by banks and credit unions in collaboration with Export Development Canada.

The eligibility criteria of the CEBA was expanded in May 19, 2020 to include sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll. To qualify under that version, applicants must have payroll lower than $20,000 and demonstrate that they have:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number and have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million.

Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

As of December 4, 2020, the maximum amount of the CEBA loan has been increased from $40K to $60K for all eligible, previous and new, applicants. New applicants are eligible businesses who haven’t been operating from a commercial banking account. These businesses are now able to apply after opening a business chequing/operating account with their primary financial institution. Approved CEBA applicants will now receive up to $60,000 and all applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for the $60,000 CEBA loan or a $20,000 expansion. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33.33% (up to $20,000).