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September 27th, 2023

NDP calls for full-fledged CEBA extension in wake of Liberals half-baked plan that hurts small businesses

OTTAWA – On Wednesday, NDP MP Gord Johns called on the Prime Minister to extend the Canada Emergency Benefit Assistance (CEBA) loan deadline by a year, while maintaining the promised $20,000 loan forgiveness so small businesses can get the relief they need. Johns says the Liberals current plan for the extension, which scraps the loan forgiveness, is “half-baked” and doesn’t provide the help small business owners need.

“Small business owners have spent the last few years taking hit after hit. They went through a global pandemic, followed by supply chain issues and a cost-of-living and inflation crisis,” said Johns. “For many, one of the only things that helped keep the doors open, and workers on the payroll, was CEBA. They’re counting on the promised loan forgiveness. But now, the Liberals expect small shops to pay everything back, despite how tough the cost of living has been, and the impact of their sacrifices during COVID - it’s absurd.”

After more than six months of calls to extend the loan’s deadline by a year from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), small businesses and the NDP – the Liberals finally granted one, except its only 18 days unless businesses forgo the promised loan forgiveness or refinance the interest rates.

Without a full-fledged extension – that maintains the loan forgiveness, more than 250,000 Canadian businesses are at risk of having to close their doors.

“The Liberals are really off the mark with this one. The Prime Minister is telling media how good this extension is and patting himself on the back, while local businesses are trying to scrape the money together,” added Johns. “And Pierre Poilievre isn’t talking about CEBA, because his only real concern right now is helping his mega rich donors make their next billion.

“New Democrats want to see real help given to the small businesses that are so important to our communities – that’s why we’re fighting to get local shops a full-blown extension that keeps the promised loan forgiveness. With how high costs are right now, it really is the least the Liberals can do.”