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Statement from Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce on the extension of the CEBA repayment deadline

Federal CEBA Loan Extension Doesn’t Go Far Enough

 The recent announcement by the federal government of a minor extension of the CEBA loan program does not go far enough and will do little to ease business owners’ worry about the looming repayment deadline and losing thousands in debt forgiveness, says the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.

Following months of advocacy for a 2-year extension to the CEBA (Canadian Emergency Benefit Account),  the announcement by the federal government of a minor extension of the repayment deadline is a far cry from what businesses were asking for.

Unfortunately for most businesses, the CEBA loan extension is, in practice, only an 18-day extension than the original deadline, moving the goalpost to January 18, 2024. And for those businesses that can secure refinancing, it only extends it until March 28, 2024.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the economy in 2020, the Government of Canada launched the CEBA loan program, with eligible businesses receiving up to a $60,000 interest-free loan. Prior to the new announcement, the deadline to repay the loan was on or before December 31, 2023, for eligible CEBA borrowers in good standing, resulting in loan forgiveness of up to 33 percent (up to $20,000).

Businesses that do not repay the loan in full by the new deadlines will lose the forgivable portion of up to $20,000, and the loan will convert to a new low-interest loan.  This announcement did extend the repayment of these new loans by an additional year to December 31, 2026.

“While this announcement may provide some additional breathing room for small business owners, it doesn’t go far enough and risks leaving businesses behind,” says Alex Mitchell, CEO of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. “Pandemic financing was meant to keep businesses afloat, and extending the CEBA loan forgiveness deadline for qualifying businesses will help reduce the risk of business failure for many of the small businesses that need support the most.”

The Chamber will continue to monitor the implementation of this announcement and to continue pushing for a meaningful loan extension.  Economic recovery in Canada is still underway, affected by key challenges from the lasting impacts of the pandemic, labour shortages, disruption to supply chains, and rising inflation and interest rates and businesses continue to face outsized challenges that make it increasingly challenging to operate.

For businesses looking for further information on what this announcement means for them, visit

– Alex Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce


For more information on the CEBA program, businesses can visit

About the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce:

The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce serves the business community of Abbotsford with an attitude of vibrant engagement and proactive non-partisan advocacy. With over 650 members, it is the largest Chamber in the Fraser Valley, located in the 5th largest city in the province. The Abbotsford Chamber is nationally accredited to meet standards of business excellence and provide benefits to its member organizations.

The Abbotsford Chamber acts as “the voice of business” in Abbotsford and is widely recognized as a leader in business advocacy and policy development with all levels of government.

In 2023, the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 110th year of service. Created to promote the interests of businesses in the City of Abbotsford, the Chamber has been an integral part of Abbotsford’s growth and evolution for nearly as long as the city has existed.

 Media enquiries:

Alex Mitchell, CEO
Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce




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