submitted by Deron Johnston
This past week, the Old Town Kemptville BIA sent a letter to MP Michael Barrett on behalf of its member businesses, and by extension, the small business community of North Grenville.
The purpose of the letter was to encourage MP Barrett to request that the federal government extend the repayment deadline for the loan portion of the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The current deadline is December 2023 for repayment of the entire CEBA loan.
The CEBA loan was absolutely essential to the survival of many small businesses that were forced to close (some had to multiple times) or deal with significant restrictions on how they operated at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to very recent surveys from the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and the Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas (OCOBIA), many small businesses are not in a strong enough financial position to repay the CEBA loan by
The ace is caught again!On June 20th, in December without at least seriously impacting their operations. The results of these surveys paint a very grim picture for small businesses.
“OCOBIA’s survey of 128 businesses, found that 97% of Ottawa small business respondents indicated that the repayment deadline of December 31, 2023 will adversely affect their business. Seventy-Four (74) percent of businesses stated that they will be forced further into debt under the current repayment plan, 41.4% fear that it will force them to close the business and 3 out of 4 businesses who were in operation before COVID declared that they are below 75% of pre-pandemic sales.”
“The OBIAA survey of 529 businesses across Ontario had similar findings, with 88% of businesses stating the CEBA Loan Repayment will negatively impact their business, 66% stating they will not be able to invest in their business towards growth, and 46% note they will be unable to expand their business. Sadly, 37% indicated that it will require laying off staff. Significantly, 42% stated that their business may be forced to close.”
In a recent report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), the findings are chillingly similar to OBIAA and OCOBIA’s survey results.
“Of the nine in ten small businesses who used CEBA, three quarters accessed loans between $40,001 and $60,000, while one quarter received loans of up to $40,000.
Only 10% of CEBA users have repaid their loans. A total of 43% of CEBA users risk missing the current repayment deadline by end of 2023. Small businesses in the arts, recreation, and information (62%), hospitality (61%) and social services sectors (46%) are most likely to miss the current CEBA deadline.
The smallest businesses with 0-4 employees are the most likely to miss the repayment deadline (49%) Even among the 47% of small business owners who indicate they will meet the 2023 deadline, half say they will struggle to do so, and two-thirds would like to see an extension of the repayment deadline.”
Consider this article and the letter that inspired it as a call to action. Small businesses are asking for your help to pressure the federal government to extend the CEBA repayment deadline until December 2024 or 2025.
Call, write or email our MP Michael Barrett and add your voice to the others who see the value of our small businesses and how much they mean to our community.
MP Michael Barrett
29 Clothier Street East
Kemptville, Ontario K0G 1J0
On behalf of small business owners, their employees, their suppliers, their customers and their communities… thank you!