Canada's NDP


December 19th, 2023

NDP re-ups call for CEBA extension to help businesses in Nanaimo – Ladysmith trying to make it through the New Year

122,890 British Columbian businesses who were approved for CEBA loans will be forced to pay it all back in the next month or risk losing a loan forgiveness promise of up to $20,000.

NANAIMO – With the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan repayment deadline only one month away, Canada’s NDP is urging Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister for Small Business Rechie Valdez to extend the repayment deadline and loan forgiveness. In the spring, many Nanaimo-Ladysmith businesses shared their concerns around this looming deadline, with local businesses signing on to a petition calling for this extension.

NDP MP Lisa Marie Barron (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) has been standing alongside Executive Directors from Chamber of Commerce in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, and Gabriola Island to urge the government to extend the CEBA repayment deadline, with the forgivable portion.

“Rising costs, whether interest rates driving up mortgages and rent, electricity bills, or supply chain issues, have hurt local businesses. They’re doing everything possible to stay afloat, but just can’t keep up,” said Barron. “Local businesses deserve a break – we need to see the CEBA loan deadline extended to give local shops room to breathe.”

While the Liberals are pushing small businesses to repay their loans, they’re handing out $21.6 billion in contracts to large consulting firms. Cutting this spending by just four per cent would cover the costs of extending the CEBA deadline. The NDP says, instead of delivering relief for small businesses that risk going under without an extension on their CEBA loan, the Liberals are giving a pass to massive ultra-rich corporations.

For months, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), local businesses, Canada’s NDP, and every premier from across the country have called for a year-long CEBA extension to keep businesses afloat. The Liberals have refused, while Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives have been silent.

“Local businesses have been pleading for help. Repaying the CEBA loans in the New Year threatens their ability to stay open. But the Liberals keep saying no while turning around to give billions to rich firms,” said Barron. “Meanwhile, Pierre Poilievre and the corporate-controlled Conservatives always claim to be in it for you, yet they’ve been silent on CEBA. But Poilievre has jumped at any chance he can get to give handouts and tax cuts to the ultra-rich."

“While the Liberals are out-of-touch, and Poilievre takes from regular people to give to the rich, New Democrats believe in supporting small businesses and local workers. We’re calling on the Liberals to extend the CEBA loan deadline with the forgivable portion so that businesses in Nanaimo-Ladysmith don’t have to spend the holidays worrying about how they’ll stay open in the New Year.”