Canada's NDP


September 15th, 2023

NDP MP Barron calls for better support for local businesses after Liberals fail on CEBA

NANAIMO - On Thursday, the Liberals announced they would extend the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) payment by less than three weeks. NDP MP Lisa Marie Barron (Nanaimo – Ladysmith) says this botched extension will devastate local business and urges the Liberals to improve this measure.

After calls from the Canadian Federation of Businesses (CFIB), along with local businesses, the Liberals granted a CEBA extension, from December 31, 2023, to January 18, 2024. Local businesses can get a year extension, but only if they want to forfeit the promised $20,000 loan forgiveness and take on a five per cent interest rate.

“Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing non-stop from local businesses who are extremely worried about paying back these loans while the cost of everything is still so high,” said Barron. “For the last six months, small businesses and New Democrats have been pushing for a year-long CEBA extension to give local shops some breathing room. But not only is the Liberal’s response way-past delayed, it’s also not a real solution for most businesses trying to pull money together.”

CFIB’s recent findings show only 18 per cent of small businesses have been able to pay CEBA in full and that losing the forgivable portion of CEBA will put 250,000 businesses at risk of closing.

“It’s really upsetting that the options in front of local business owners are either find extra money or lose out on tens of thousands of dollars,” added Barron. “The Liberal’s plan is going to hurt our communities - and the Conservatives are nowhere to be found when it comes to fighting for small businesses.”

“New Democrats are calling on the Liberals to think about what workers and local shops are going through and to reconsider this mess of a plan. There is still time to extend the CEBA payment deadline by a year, keeping the loan forgiveness and pausing the added interest. I’ll keep fighting for businesses in Nanaimo –Ladysmith to make sure they real help through these tough times.”