The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says in a survey of its members, 78 per cent of them reported that getting extra time to repay their Canada Emergency Business Account loans will increase the likelihood of their survival.
The federation says 49 per cent of small businesses are still making below-normal revenues, with those in hospitality, arts and recreation, retail and social services hit the hardest.
CFIB president Dan Kelly says high interest rates, inflation and labour costs are making it difficult for small businesses to keep their heads above water, let alone make any dent in the debt they took on to survive pandemic restrictions.
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The CFIB says 10 per cent of the businesses surveyed that took a CEBA loan have been able to repay it entirely, while another 47 per cent say they will be able to repay it by the end of this year.
The federation is calling on Ottawa to extend the repayment deadline for CEBA loans interest-free to the end of 2025 or at least to the end of 2024.
The current deadline to repay CEBA loans interest-free and take advantage of the forgivable portion is the end of this year.
The report is based on an online survey completed by 5,996 CFIB members between March 13 and 22.