• PHTCC Team

What is the CEBA?

The federal government has rolled out a series of measures to help Canadian businesses and families weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s everything you need to know about the Canada Emergency Business Account, or CEBA:

The Canada Emergency Business Account is part of the federal government’s loan and loan-guarantee program for small and medium-sized businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.​

The $25-billion program opened to applicants on April 9, and provides a $40,000 loan that is interest-free until Dec. 31, 2022.

Reference website:

What is the Canada Emergency Business Account (aka 40k loans)?

Update: On April 16, it was announced that eligibility will be expanded to businesses with a total payroll in 2019 of $20,000 to $1.5 million.

CEBA is a lending program that can help businesses pay their expenses that cannot be deferred during this challenging period. These loans are government funded, interest free and provided through financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC).These loans have a forgivable portion of $10,000 when the loan is paid back, starting in 2021. Some banks are offering these as a $40,000 term loan and others are offering a line of credit up to $40,000-sometimes through a zero-interest credit card.

If your business would be helped by the $10,000 forgivable portion, but is concerned about incurring more debt during this crisis, you are able to take out the full $40,000 loan and set aside the $30,000 to ensure you have the funds to repay the loan in its entirety when it becomes due. By doing this, the $10,000 acts as a non-repayable grant, helping the business pay some of its ongoing costs until revenues improve.

Keep in mind your business would have to take out the full $40,000 in order to get the $10,000 maximum benefit. If you take out a smaller amount with financial institutions offering a line of credit approach, only 25% of that amount would be non-repayable.

It is also important to note that the loan is interest free up until December 31, 2022. To qualify for forgiveness, the loan needs to be repaid by then (i.e., if paid down earlier, a payment of 75% of the loan value would fully extinguish the payment obligations on the loan). After that date the loan converts into a 3 year term loan, with 5% yearly interest, and there will be no forgiveness of 25% up to $10,000.

How much of a loan can I receive?

A loan of up to $40,000. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). If you take out the whole $40,000 out up front you can use the $10,000 as if it were a grant. Remember to keep the resting of the $30,000 safe for when you need to pay it back.

Who is an eligible borrower?

Borrowers with a Canadian operating businesses open as of March 1, 2020; and

Borrowers with a federal tax registration; and

Borrowers with a total employment income paid in the 2019 calendar year between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 (found on your T4Sum); and

Borrowers with an active business chequing/operating account with their primary financial institution opened on/prior to March 1, 2020 and was not in arrears on existing borrowing facilities by 90 days or more as at March 1, 2020; and

Borrowers who have not already used the CEBA and will not apply for the CEBA with other financial institutions; and

Borrowers who acknowledge their intention to use the loan to continue to operate their business or to resume their operations; and

Borrowers who agree to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by government or any of its agents

When can I apply?

CEBA is available in some financial institutions as of April 9, 2020. More financial institutions are being added to the list of CEBA providers. Check with your financial institution if they have been added.

Where can I apply?

Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans. Your assigned account manager will likely have access to these loans or have a method of contacting BDC and EDC.

Here are the details for the main financial institutions:

ATB Financial -



Desjardins -

National Bank -


Scotiabank -

TD Bank -

Will my credit union have access to providing CEBA?

All eligible credit unions will be added to the list of CEBA providers. This list is growing daily and should be completed by the end of April at latest. Check with your financial institution's website if they have been added or are trying to be added. Customer service agents may not yet be aware of the offering.

What if I am not eligible?

We encourage you to keep in touch with CFIB by sending an email at

What if I am eligible, but am getting rejected for CEBA?

Double check your application! We are hearing that many businesses are inputting their legal business name, branch number, business number, business address, or payroll amount incorrectly. These should reflect what the financial institution has on file. Please ensure to look at the format of the answers that you are required to provide.

Is your account a personal one or a business account? Only business accounts are eligible for CEBA at this time.

Try calling your financial institution's customer service line to determine the reason for your rejection.

Email and include:

Your business legal name (according to your financial institution)

Your financial institution

A summary of your situation

Your contact information

If you want to speak to a live person, we encourage you to keep in touch with CFIB (whether you are successful or decline) by sharing your situation with a Business Counsellor at 1-888-234-2232 or by email at

If I am rejected, can I apply until I am accepted?

If you are rejected due to a need to update your financial institute's profile you may need to wait 24-48hrs for this to be updated before you apply again.

If you are rejected due to an inputting error then you can try applying again. Financial institutions are telling us that they are seeing many inputting errors in applications. They do encourage you to try applying again.

Reference website:

Are there any restrictions on how I can use CEBA funds?

The funds from this loan shall only be used by the Borrower to pay non-deferrable operating expenses of the Borrower including, without limitation, payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax and regularly scheduled debt service, and may not be used to fund any payments or expenses such as prepayment/refinancing of existing indebtedness, payments of dividends, distributions and increases in management compensation

Are any Borrowers excluded from the CEBA?

Per the requirements of the Program, as set out by the Government of Canada, the Borrower confirms that:

It is not a government organization or body, or an entity owned by a government organization or body;

It is not a union, charitable, religious or fraternal organization or entity owned by such an organization or if it is, it is a registered T2 or T3010 corporation that generates a portion of its revenue from the sales of goods or services;

It is not an entity owned by individual(s) holding political office; and

It does not promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, region, education, age or mental or physical disability.

Reference website:

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