Canada Emergency Benefit Account (CEBA) Update – [January 2021]

In this blog post, I want to share the latest update on the Canada Emergency Business Account (also known as CEBA) as of January 2021. This benefit is great because it’s easy to apply, it doesn’t require you to apply every 2 weeks like CRB or EI, and if you meet all the conditions, you get to keep $20,000 tax free. Below are the current details as of January 5, 2021 however as these benefits are continuing to change, please refer to for the most up to date information. 

What is the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)? 

CEBA was first launched in March 2020 by the Canadian government as a response to support small businesses and non-profit organizations with interest-free loans due to the impacts of COVID-19. As of December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses increased to $60,000. 

If you meet the qualifications, you can apply now for the $60,000 interest-free loan and there are no minimum repayments until December 31, 2022.  

Below are the requirements for CEBA:

  • Organization must have an active CRA Business Number (BN) on or prior to March 1, 2020
  • You must either:
    • someone on your payroll where you paid them between $20,000 to $1.5M in 2019 OR
    • you have non deferrable expenses from 2019 between $40,000 to $1.5 million. Non-deferrable expenses include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities and anything that you need to keep your business running. 

If you qualify, CEBA provides access to a $60,000 loan through your bank. 

Benefits of applying for CEBA

  • You do not need to make any repayments until December 31, 2022 so this is an interest-free loan. However, you can make principal repayments voluntarily at any time without penalties. 
  • If you can pay back $30,000 to the program before December 31, 2022, then you can keep $10,000. If you can pay back $40,000 before December 31, 2022, then you get to keep $20,000. 

It is important to note that this is a loan and is not considered as income. If you cannot return the payment by the end of 2022, the loan will be converted to a 3 year term loan with 5% interest rate, with everything paid back no later than the end of 2025. 

The deadline to apply for CEBA is March 31, 2021. 

Applying for CEBA 

Unlike EI or CRB, you do not need to go to Service Canada or CRA to apply for CEBA. To apply, go to your primary business banking to apply with an active business chequing or operating account at a financial institution. Previously you needed to have this on March 1, 2020 to be qualified but has removed that restriction so you can open one now and apply for CEBA. 

How to apply for CEBA

The process is simple but I show you how to apply on my own business account in this video.

  1. Login to your primary business account. In my example, I use Scotia Bank. 
  2. Once you log in, there should be a tab for CEBA. 
  3. Verify your information 
  4. Review the declaration to understand this is a loan and the qualifications 
  5. Sign and submit 

This will automatically be submitted for verification and will be returned back in 10 days with a new line of credit. 


If I have applied for the $40000 CEBA loan before, can I still apply for the $20,000 expansion?

The answer is yes but you will need to submit a new application through your financial institution that had your original CEBA loan. 

What if I already repaid my original $40,000 CEBA loan, may I apply for the $20,000 expansion? 

Yes, and you will have to apply at the financial institution that provided you with your original CEBA loan.

If my financial institution is not yet offering the $20,000 expansion, can I apply for it somewhere else?

No, you must apply for the $20,000 expansion at the same financial institution that 

provided you with your original CEBA loan.

How long does it take to receive a CEBA loan?

You should expect to receive funding within 10 to 15 business days.

I hope this helps clarify this benefit. For more information and for the most up to date information, please visit the official CEBA website. If you’re looking for a financial consultant to help with your small business, feel free to book a time for a complimentary consult to chat with me.