The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s most recent Canadian Survey on Business Conditions found that over 15,000 Canadian businesses are reporting that inflation, input costs, and interest/debt costs are the three most acute obstacles currently facing businesses. Furthermore, the survey found that smaller firms are most constrained by debt, making repayment of Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans by December 31, 2023 a significant challenge.
In Manitoba, nearly 23,500 businesses were approved for CEBA loans and accordingly, received nearly $1.3 billion in support from the Government of Canada. From July 7 through July 12, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC) polled Manitoba business leaders to check your pulse on this issue and to assess whether you are supportive of an extension to the loan repayment deadline. Just under 70 percent of survey respondents received a CEBA loan and with 54 per cent of them cited concerns over repaying their loans by the deadline. Cash flow challenges (39 per cent) and the ability to generate sufficient revenue/profit (35 per cent) were cited as the primary concerns regarding repayment.
Additionally, whether Manitoba business leaders received a CEBA loan or not, 79 per cent of respondents supported an extension to the CEBA repayment deadline and 7 in 10 respondents supported a 2-year extension to the end of 2025.
Last week, MCC added its name to a joint letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, calling for an extension to the CEBA repayment deadline by at least one (1) year to December 2024 while maintaining access to the forgivable portion (up to $20,000).
The MCC joins 280 other business and industry associations in this call to action.
Click here to read the letter.
Click here to read the MB Pulse report.