More small businesses can soon access the Canada Emergency Business Account

News release

June 15, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support Canadians and businesses facing difficult challenges as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. Small businesses in particular continue to face economic hardship and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Today, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced that as of Friday, June 19, 2020, applications will be accepted so that more small businesses can access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). This means that owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll will become eligible this week. 

 To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need: 

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number;
  • A 2018 or 2019 tax return; and  
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million.

Eligible businesses will qualify for financing of up to $40,000, with 25 per cent of this being forgivable based on the current terms of CEBA loans. Businesses can contact their primary financial institution for more information or to apply directly for CEBA. More information on the expanded CEBA can be found on the program’s website.

CEBA is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which is helping Canadians and businesses deal with the economic impacts of the pandemic. The measures under this plan will help businesses protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, keep their doors open, keep their employees on payroll, and recover quickly when the time comes.

The government continues to assess and respond to the impacts of COVID-19. It stands ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.


Our government is providing support to small businesses, so that they can keep their doors open, keep their employees on the job, and be better positioned once the economy begins to recover. We want businesses to know that we are there for them, and that we are listening to their concerns. Based on the feedback we have received on the CEBA, we are pleased to make adjustments to the program and expand it so that it can help more small businesses.”

- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, we promised to do whatever it takes to help small businesses through this unprecedented crisis. The CEBA loan is one of the many ways we’re supporting them – and with almost 670,000 businesses across the country benefitting from this lending support, we know it’s making a real difference for people. By expanding the eligibility for this loan, even more business owners – including sole proprietors – will get the support they need to help them restart and begin to rebuild in the weeks and months to come.”

 - Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Quick facts

  • The government will be working closely with participating financial institutions in coming days to ensure they are positioned to deliver the expanded CEBA loans on behalf of their customers, as early as June 19, 2020.

  • Launched on April 9, 2020, CEBA provides zero-interest, partially forgivable loans to small businesses that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing non-deferrable costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and employment costs. By assisting these businesses in servicing their non-deferrable costs, CEBA is intended to facilitate the post-COVID resumption of normal business operations.

  • CEBA is delivered by Export Development Canada (EDC), which is working closely with Canadian financial institutions to deliver the loans to their existing business banking customers.

  • When first launched, CEBA was designed to allow for rapid deployment of credit to businesses with 2019 payroll between $50,000 and $1 million. The government then expanded the eligibility parameters of the program, by increasing the payroll eligibility range to between $20,000 and $1.5 million.

  • Since CEBA’s launch, more than 669,000 loans have been approved, representing a total of more than $26 billion in credit disbursed.

  • The government is also supporting Canadian businesses through the COVID-19 outbreak with targeted new initiatives that:

    • Provide a forgivable loan through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses to qualifying commercial property owners, who in turn give a rent reduction of at least 75% for April and May (retroactive) and June, to impacted small business tenants who have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.
    • Provide effective support to those eligible employers that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The CEWS applies at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week, per employee. The program is in place from March 15 to August 29, 2020. Employers of all sizes from across the economy are eligible, with certain exceptions including public sector entities.
    • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments, as well as customs duty payments owed for imports, until June. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
    • Defer the payment of income taxes. The government is allowing all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020. This relief, amounting to $55 billion in liquidity support, would apply to new balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Associated links


Media may contact:

Maéva Proteau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

Stay connected

Twitter: @financecanada


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