The Ever-Evolving CEBA

Author: Andrew Gordon, CFP® – Certified Financial Planner®

As you may know, in March 2020 the Government of Canada introduced the Covid-19 Economic Response Plan. The ultimate purpose behind this plan was to assist individuals and businesses that were affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. If you were an individual affected, you likely participated in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). However, if you were a business, then perhaps you participated in CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account), or CEWS (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy), or CERS (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy). Our focus today will be on CEBA, but we are happy to talk with you about the impact that any of the programs that the government has implemented may have on your financial plan.

When CEBA was first introduced in March 2020, its goal was to support incorporated businesses with non-deferrable expenses. The program evolved in the months ahead and soon allowed unincorporated businesses to participate so long as they met various requirements (e.g. they were an active business operating in Canada on March 1, 2020) . CEBA was then broken down even further to provide support for one of two streams:

  • Payroll Stream
    • Applicants with employment income (payroll) paid to employees in the 2019 calendar year between $20K and $1.5M
  • Non-Deferrable Expense Stream
    • Applicants with $20K or less in total employment income (payroll) paid in the 2019 calendar year

At the end of the day, the loan terms allowed a business owner to borrow $40,000 from their financial institution in Canada at 0% interest until December 31, 2022. When that final date rolls around, a business owner has one of two options:

  • Pay back $30,000
    • The Government of Canada will forgive 25% ($10,000) of the loan if paid in full
  • Create a business loan if not paid
    • Your financial institution will automatically enter you into a 3 year term loan at 5%

As the Covid-19 outbreak continued to unleash itself, the Government of Canada introduced an expansion program to CEBA. They enhanced the loan amount and forgiveness in December 2020 to a total of $60,000 with $20,000 forgiven if paid by December 31, 2022. If you initially applied for the CEBA loan prior to December 2020, you can also apply for the expansion if needed, with financial underwriting.

Over the last 18 months, the economic response plan has evolved, and although this primarily focuses on CEBA, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance regarding anything from what you’ve read or heard regarding this program.

At Connect Wealth, it’s important to us as Financial Planners that our Business Owner clients fully understand their options. Covid-19 has introduced many struggles to businesses over the last year and a half and we have found that many individuals do not fully understand what options they have at their disposal. Our goal is to ensure that our clientele can look to us to seek the right advice that suits them best in whatever financial position they are in or going through.

Connect Wealth is an independent financial planning firm that offers holistic advice to clients based on their current goals and future aspirations. We use well-established workflows and cutting edge technology to maximize planning efficiencies while simplifying the process for clients. Learn how you can maximize your financial opportunities at

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