CEBA loan repayments put 8,000 small Saskatchewan businesses “at risk”: CFIB

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Some small businesses in Saskatchewan are at risk of closing by the end of next year.

That is a projection being made by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) following a recent survey by member businesses in the province.

The deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan is due at the end of this year. Many small businesses just won’t be able to repay it by that time.

Having to find, in some cases, up to tens of thousands of dollars could mean small business make the choice to close.

Brianna Solberg, the director of legislative affairs for the CFIB tolf John Gormley this week that many businesses that are struggling just need more time.

“Those small businesses that fought three hard years just to survive the pandemic are still facing significant challenges on their road to recovery,” said Solberg, whose organization has 4,000 business members.

The CFIB survey found that 19 per cent of all small businesses could close in Saskatchewan as some 29,000 businesses took out CEBA loans.

The loan repayment date was already extended by the federal government once, but Solberg said it’s necessary for the federal government to extend it further.

“The message is loud and clear from small businesses that they need more time and obviously they appreciate the deadline has been extended once already,” said Solberg. “But the situation is still dire.”

Solberg says financial institutions still have time to delay repayments if the federal government decides to grant businesses more time.

If 8,000 Saskatchewan small businesses closed, that would leave many unemployed, said Solberg. She explained that certain sectors would be hit harder than others.

“Particularly in the arts, recreation, hospitality sectors — they’ll struggle to make this deadline,” said Solberg.

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