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John Wishart is the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton. Image: Denis Duquette

Extend CEBA loan repayment deadline: Chamber CEO

By Brad Perry Sep 25, 2023 | 6:34 AM

A recent extension for businesses to repay their Canada Emergency Business Account loans does not go far enough.

That is according to the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton, which wants to see businesses be given more time.

“An 18-day extension for CEBA loan repayment simply does not provide the breathing room that businesses require to stabilize their operations and return to sustainable growth,” Chamber CEO John Wishart said in a news release.

The repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness of up to 33 per cent is being extended from Dec. 31, 2023, until Jan. 18, 2024.

For loan holders who make a refinancing application with the financial institution that provided their loan by Jan. 18, the repayment deadline to qualify for partial loan forgiveness now includes a refinancing extension until March 28, 2024.

As of Jan. 19, 2024, outstanding loans will convert to three-year term loans, subject to interest of five per cent per annum, with the term loan repayment date extended by an additional year to Dec. 31, 2026.

“We cannot ignore the reality that many businesses in Greater Moncton are still struggling to regain their pre-pandemic footing,” said Wishart.

The Chamber said the 18-day extension falls significantly short of the support needed by businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic’s economic impacts.

It is calling on the federal government to extend the repayment deadline for CEBA loans “to a more meaningful and substantial period, reflecting the ongoing challenges faced by businesses.”

The Chamber is also asking the government to speak with local businesses and industry associations to better understand their unique challenges and work on targeted solutions for our region.