The Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce calls on the Federal Government to clarify the CEBA (Canadian Emergency Bank Account) and RRRF (Regional Relief and Recovery Fund) repayment deadlines and link the deadline to the end of COVID restrictions.
During the lockdowns, owners of small businesses have taken an average of $190,000 in debt to stay afloat, with a stark 18.5% actively considering bankruptcy (CFIB Statement on Ontario reintroducing business restrictions January 3rd, 2022). For businesses that have taken CEBA or RRRF loans, there is a repayment deadline looming in less than a year. Missing the deadline is consequential and could cost companies tens of thousands of dollars in lost loan forgiveness and interest charges.
With the most recent restrictions mandated by the Provincial Government, it is apparent that businesses will not even have a year of uninterrupted operation to accumulate the cash required to make the CEBA or RRRF payments due on December 31st, 2022.
“All ready stressed entrepreneurs need clarity and time to plan their repayment,” said Greg Pietersma, Cornwall Chamber Executive Director. “The initial deadline was arbitrary. Aligning the date to the end of COVID-related restrictions would allow businesses to have time to plan.”
The Cornwall Chamber of Commerce recommends that the Federal Government link the deadline for CEBA and RRRF repayments to a minimum of 18 months after lifting COVID-related restrictions.