Canada Emergency Business Accounts (CEBA)

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This page was last updated on January 5, 2021.

The Canada Emergency Business Account provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.  Borrowers will receive a credit of up to $20,000 if they repay the loan in full on or before December 31, 2022.  If the loan is not repaid in full on or before December 31, 2022, it may be extended to December 31, 2025 but interest will then be charged at a rate of 5%.

To qualify for the CEBA, the borrower must:

  • Have a business number with CRA as of March 1, 2020;
  • Have an active business chequing/operating account with the lender;
  • Intend to continue to operate its business or resume operations; and,
  • Agree to participate in post-funding surveys conducted by the Government of Canada or any of its agents.


To qualify, an organization must also confirm that:

  • It is not a government organization, government body or an entity owned by a government organization or body;
  • It is not a non-profit organization, registered charity, union, or a fraternal benefit society or order, or an entity owned by such an organization, unless the entity is actively carrying on a business in Canada (including a related business in the case of a registered charity) that earns revenue from the regular supply of property/goods or services;
  • It is not an entity owned by any Federal Member of Parliament or Senator; and,
  • It does not promote violence, incent hatred or discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, region, education, age, or mental or physical disability.


Loan proceeds must be used to pay non-deferrable operating expenses of the business such as rent, utilities, payroll, insurance, regularly scheduled debt payments, and property taxes.  Funds may not be used for refinancing existing debt, paying dividends, or increases to management compensation.

CEBA applications will close on March 31, 2021.

Organizations may qualify for the CEBA under two different streams: the payroll stream and the non-deferrable expense stream.

Payroll stream

To qualify under the payroll stream, organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 by providing the total employment income reported on their 2019 T4 Summary. This program is now available and interested businesses should be able to apply for the CEBA through their current financial institution’s website.

Non-deferrable expense stream

To qualify under the non-deferrable expense stream, businesses must have filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and have a business number. They will also need to demonstrate they had between $40,000 and $1.5 million in non-deferrable expenses by uploading receipts, invoices or agreements to support the amount of these expenses. Eligible non-deferrable expenses must be incurred between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 and include:

  • Wages and other employment expenses to independent (arm’s length) third parties;
  • Rent or lease payments for real estate;
  • Rent or lease payments for capital equipment;
  • Insurance;
  • Property taxes;
  • Utilities;
  • Regularly scheduled debt payments;
  • Payments under agreements with independent contractors;
  • Fees required to maintain licenses, authorizations or permissions necessary to conduct the borrower’s business; and,
  • Other expenses that may be identified as eligible expenses on the Government of Canada’s website from time to time.

Claims under various other programs will be considered as an adjustment to these non-deferrable expenses, including the CEWS, the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy, the CECRA, the CERS, and other COVID-19 relief programs.

Interested businesses may apply through participating financial institutions’ websites.

More information on this program is available here.