‘Our government is providing support to small businesses, so that they can keep their doors open, keep their employees on the job, and be better positioned once the economy begins to recover’
The federal government is expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to cover more Canadians and businesses facing difficult challenges as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak.
Under the new rules, owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll will become eligible this week.
“Our government is providing support to small businesses, so that they can keep their doors open, keep their employees on the job, and be better positioned once the economy begins to recover,” said Bill Morneau, minister of finance. “We want businesses to know that we are there for them, and that we are listening to their concerns. Based on the feedback we have received on the CEBA, we are pleased to make adjustments to the program and expand it so that it can help more small businesses.”
To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need:
- a business operating account at a participating financial institution
- a Canada Revenue Agency business number
- a 2018 or 2019 tax return
- eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million
Eligible businesses will qualify for financing of up to $40,000, 25 per cent being forgivable based on the current terms of CEBA loans. More information on the expanded CEBA can be found on the program’s website.
CEBA is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which is helping Canadians and businesses deal with the economic impacts of the pandemic. In May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expanded the eligibility rules for CEBA, making 67,000 farmers eligible, up from 36,566.
Recently, the federal government also launched the $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) for the agriculture sector as part of its actions to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of COVID-19.