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The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is an initiative of the Government of Canada.  The official Government website is

CEBA Repayment Deadline (2023 Updated)

CEBA Repayment Deadline
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The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program is designed to offer support to small and medium-sized businesses facing financial challenges due to COVID-19. CEBA offers interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to help businesses cover operations expenses during a time when revenues might be lower than usual. It was designed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and stabilize the Canadian economy.

Importance of CEBA Repayment Deadline

For borrowers, the loan forgiveness deadline is the most important part of CEBA repayment. Borrowers can receive up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness if paid before the date. If not, the loan converts into a two-year term loan at 5% interest, with no possibility for forgiveness and no renegotiation.

Given this information, it is extremely important to repay funds on time, preferably before the deadline. Repaying the loan early helps businesses maintain a good credit score, which is important for future financing and gives them access to a financial incentive that could help with cash flow. This article aims to provide helpful advice on managing and repaying CEBA Loans, including the most optimal times to repay.

CEBA Extension

In response to the ongoing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program introduced both an expansion and an extension. The expanded loan offered eligible businesses an opportunity to apply for an additional interest-free loan of $20,000, in addition to the original $40,000 loan. $10,000 of this enhanced amount can be forgiven if it is repaid before December 31st, 2023.

Due to continued lockdowns and economic delay, the 2023 deadline is an extension of the original 2022 deadline.

To qualify for CEBA, businesses needed to meet specific criteria. This included having a payroll between $20,000 and $1.5 million in 2019 or proving non-deferrable expenses like rent or property taxes. Additionally, businesses must have demonstrated that they have been directly affected by public health restrictions related to COVID-19.

The application process for the CEBA Loan expansion was simple for businesses already registered under the CEBA program. They could apply for the expanded amount online with the financial institution where they initially applied for the loan. The process involved providing basic information about the business and confirming compliance with the eligibility conditions. The CEBA extension was offered automatically by the Government of Canada and announced publicly in 2022.

CEBA Loan Repayment Deadline

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan has provided crucial support for businesses facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Canadian government created the program to help businesses stay afloat during challenging times, it was not designed to be a grant or a non-repayable loan. 

CEBA provides businesses with the financial assistance they need to cover immediate expenses and maintain operations. However, there is still a repayment deadline associated with the CEBA Loan and a portion of the loan that must be repaid.

The repayment deadline to qualify for forgiveness is the date by which businesses need to repay the loan amount they have borrowed. Initially, this deadline was set on December 31, 2022. However, given the nature of the global economy following the pandemic, the government extended the repayment deadline to December 31, 2023. 

This extension gives businesses more time to repay the loan, still qualify for the loan forgiveness, and considers the pandemic’s slow economic recovery and extended nature. It also reduces the immediate financial burden of having to repay.

Meeting the CEBA repayment deadline is critical. Businesses that want to take advantage of the interest-free portion and the government’s willingness to forgive a portion of the loan should keep abreast of any development in the program. The interest-free period of the loan ends with the deadline, so it is important for business owners to plan their finances wisely. By managing their finances through regular repayment (or by refinancing the loan), businesses can ensure the repayment process of the CEBA Loan goes smoothly.

To stay on top of repayment, it’s important for businesses to keep track of their loan balance, which can be done both in person and online. They should budget or set aside funds for repayment of the loan, and communicate with their lending institution. Understanding the repayment terms, such as the interest rate and repayment period following the deadline, can also help businesses prepare for paying back the loan.


If you were a business owner, you had the opportunity to apply for the CEBA Loan through the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) while applications were still open. The process was straightforward, and you could apply directly through RBC’s online or mobile banking services. To get an RBC CEBA Loan, business owners had to verify their eligibility, complete an online application, and agree to the terms and conditions of the loan. Once RBC received your application, they would forward it to Export Development Canada for final approval and the delivery of funds.

No matter which bank you choose when accessing the CEBA Loan, it’s important to be aware of the deadlines. Until December 31st, 2023, the loan has a 0% interest rate, which means you wouldn’t have to pay any extra money on top of what you borrowed. RBC borrowers can still take advantage of this interest-free period, even if they plan on refinancing the loan. However, these kinds of strategies mean talking to your financial institution well in advance.

To benefit from the loan forgiveness, businesses must pay off the non-forgivable portion of the loan, at least $40,000 of the $60,000 maximum. However, financial institutions like RBC can help you work out an alternative option for refinancing, where your refinanced loan would not take effect until after the CEBA Loan is no longer interest-free. If you meet this repayment target, the remaining $20,000 will be forgiven, so even if you refinance all of the non-forgivable portion of the loan, you may still be better off than letting your loan rollover.

CEBA Loan for Businesses that have Closed

Even if a business has closed its operations, it may still be eligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan. Eligibility criteria for a closed business are similar to those for active businesses, such as demonstrating revenue losses in a specified period and having an operational business bank account as of March 1, 2020. 

Whether or not the business has closed, CEBA underwriting criteria applied to ensure businesses were both legitimate prior to the pandemic and affected by the economic fallout. While CEBA eligibility remains the same for closed businesses, it’s important to consider that businesses—even closed—will still have to repay.

Closed businesses are not exempt from the deadline of December 31, 2023. They will still need to plan and manage their finances to ensure repayment by this date. Not only will interest charges apply if the loan is not repaid by the deadline, but a closed business will certainly benefit from not having additional principal to repay. 

Whether or not the business has eventually reopened, the closed business might have assets or other collateral available to pay back or guarantee a new loan. Managing finances effectively and budgeting wisely are essential for closed businesses to make the most of their remaining funds.

Applying for CEBA Loan refinancing as a closed business is similar to an active enterprise. Business owners can approach their current banking institution either online or through traditional channels to initiate the refinancing application and discuss financial options. It is important to provide accurate information and meet eligibility requirements during the application process and in any terms you negotiate following it. 

Seeking assistance from financial institutions or professional advisors can be especially helpful for closed businesses, who might need extra documentation or advice when navigating the application process and ensuring all documents are provided.

Meeting the CEBA Repayment Deadline

Knowing, meeting, and adhering to the repayment deadline for Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans is vital for businesses. The CEBA Loan program has been designed to provide support to businesses affected by COVID-19, allowing them to sustain their operations during challenging times. However, businesses that fail to meet this deadline can miss out on major opportunities to save money. 

Timely repayment is essential not just to maintain a healthy financial position and avoid negative effects on credit scores that could impact future borrowing opportunities, but also to access the full benefits of the loan.

Business owners often did not have a choice whether or not to take out the CEBA Loan. If their business needed cash flow to stay afloat, they took the opportunity. However, with economic recovery still unsteady in many sectors, it’s not unlikely that many of these businesses still face financial difficulty. If this is the case, exploring options such as loan extensions or applying for loan forgiveness can be beneficial. 

Adhering to the repayment guidelines allows businesses to navigate their finances wisely and set a foundation for long-term resilience. Taking decisive actions today will contribute to the best possible repayment system and the continued success of businesses in the future.


In conclusion, the CEBA Loan is an opportunity for businesses to regain their footing during an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This loan provides financial support to businesses, regardless of their operations status, with favorable conditions such as a 0% interest rate until December 2023, and a forgivable portion. 

However, businesses must make a concerted effort to meet the repayment deadline and navigate the application and refinancing process accurately and efficiently, to benefit from this program fully. By doing so, businesses can strengthen their financial resilience and pave the way for future success.

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