July 12th, 2023
NDP calls for CEBA extension to give small businesses in Nanaimo-Ladysmith a break
NANAIMO – On Monday, Canada’s NDP sent a letter to the Minister of Finance calling for an extension on the payment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Accounts (CEBA) loans as Canadians face another interest rate increase this week from the Bank of Canada. Many Nanaimo-Ladysmith businesses are sharing concerns around this looming deadline, with local businesses signing on to a petition alongside the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) calling on the federal government to push back the CEBA payment deadline.
“Rising costs, whether it be interest rates driving up mortgages and rent, electricity bills, or supply chain issues, have hurt local businesses,” said NDP MP Lisa Marie Barron (Nanaimo – Ladysmith). “These are local businesses, including Allegra Marketing Print Mail and Arbutus Music, who contribute to our communities in endless ways. Unfortunately they’ve been hit hard by the pandemic and now a cost-of-living crisis. Like all the small businesses in our communities, they deserve to have the federal government lend a helping hand, not act like a debt collector.”
CEBA needs to be repaid by the end of the year if owners are still eligible for a 33 per cent loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 and avoid five per cent interest on the outstanding loan. But, if forced to pay now, nearly 47 per cent of CFIB members in British Columbia could be at risk of closing their doors.
“For the small businesses in our community, pushing back the CEBA loan payment deadline gives them room to breathe,” said Barron. “The Liberals have found billions of dollars to hand out to rich oil and gas companies, so to small business owners, it feels like the government would rather help their rich friends. And Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives say they’re working for people while trying to tip the scales even more in favour of mega corporations – not local shops.”
“New Democrats believe that local businesses are an important part of the heart of our communities, who provide services and goods to locals and create jobs. That’s why I’m fighting to get better support for business owners in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, by pushing the government to extend the CEBA deadline to help keep the doors of local shops open.”