May 12th, 2020
Letter to Ministers Regarding Necessary Changes to the Canada Emergency Business Account
Minister Morneau and Minister Ng,
We are writing to you today to share our deep concerns about two issues relating to the Canada Emergency Business Assistance (CEBA) eligibility. Our office has received multiple complaints from small business owners who found themselves unable to access the CEBA loan because they did not have a business account or they missed the cut off date for setting up a business account.
Running a small business is costly and many small business owners choose to use a personal bank account instead of a business account. It is unfair for small business owners who have legitimate business licenses yet being denied access to CEBA loans simply because they do not have a business account.
Another issue we would like to bring to your attention is the cut off date (i.e. March 1, 2020) for the opening of the business account. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid 19 as a global pandemic and on March 13, the federal government announced a series of business stimulus. The cut off date (i.e. March 1) does not give adequate time for the small business owners whose original financial institutions are not registered to administer the CEBA loan. By the time these small business owners realized the availability of CEBA loans, it was already too late for them to open a business account in another financial institution that offers CEBA applications.
Small businesses are the beating heart of the Canadian economy. While we welcome the economic stimulus packages the government has implemented, there are many small business owners who fall through the cracks. We are urging your government to allow small business owners who operate their business out of personal accounts to access CEBA loans. We are also urging your government to allow small business owners who open an account after March 1 to be eligible for CEBA loans application.
Peter Julian, MP for New Westminster-Burnaby
Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay-Alberni