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We're here for our Business Members

​Now Accepting Applications

​Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) 

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On May 19, the federal government announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. 

Under the new expanded eligibility criteria, the CEBA program will be available to businesses with payroll lower than $20,000, making it accessible for a greater number of businesses that are:

  • Sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses
  • Businesses that rely on contractors, and
  • Family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll

We are awaiting more details from the government, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, and expect to be able to share more information in the coming days.  

We’re here to help our Business Members with information and access to financial relief options needed to support their business through these challenging times.

What is a CEBA loan?

The Canada Emergency Business Account loan program supports eligible businesses and not-for-profit organizations with loans of up to $40,000 to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced.  

  • Term loans will be at 0% interest until December 31, 2022
  • Principal repayments can be made at any time, however, no principal payments are required until December 31, 2022
  • Up to $10,000 of a $40,000 loan will be eligible for loan forgiveness, if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022
  • If the loan is not repaid by December 31, 2022, it will be extended for an additional three-year term bearing an interest rate of 5% per annum. The loan can be repaid at any time without penalty and no principal payments are required until December 31, 2025, when the full amount of the loan is due.

Is my business eligible to apply for CEBA?

Businesses and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply if they have:

  • an operating company registered in Canada (i.e. not a holding company), in good financial health before the impact of COVID-19
  • On April 16, the government expanded the program’s annual payroll eligibility criteria range to between $20,000 and $1.5 million (from the original $50,000 to $1 million), based on 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid statement
  • FirstOntario as their primary financial institution - the one that holds their primary business operating account, for day-to-day payments and cash management, opened on or before March 1, 2020. If FirstOntario isn’t your primary financial institution, you must apply through the financial institution that does hold your primary business operating account.

What will I need to apply?

  • You will need a copy of your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid statement on hand to complete the application. You will need your 15-digit Business Number (located at the top of your 2019 T4 Summary) and your employment income reported (Box 14 of the 2019 T4 Summary). You can also access this information online through the CRA portal.
  • Have your FirstOntario debit card ready, as you will need to enter your debit card number.
  • If you qualify as per the program criteria BUT do not have a FirstOntario debit card, please contact your nearest branch to obtain a debit card prior to applying.
  • Applications must be made online. To access our online application portal, you will need to use Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers, and then complete the form following the step-by-step instructions. Internet Explorer will not work for this application.
  • Also ensure that the person applying for the CEBA loan has the authority to attest on behalf of your organization and bind the organization to the terms of the CEBA loan agreement. 

For additional details on the CEBA program, check the Federal Government’s online CEBA FAQ.

​Request a CEBA loan to help cover operating costs

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We are here to help

If you have any questions about CEBA or would like to learn about other financial relief options, please contact your FirstOntario Business Account Manager or our Member Solutions Centre at 1-800-616-8878 or 905-685-5555. 

Be sure to check our COVID-19 support page to learn more about FirstOntario’s response to COVID-19.  

You can also view Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

​ Can I apply for a CEBA at more than one financial institution?

No you cannot. Please apply for a CEBA at the primary financial institution that holds your operational account.

​ I deal with more than one financial institution, which one should I pick when applying?

Please apply through your primary financial institution where your business does the majority of its daily banking (where you do your employee payroll, supplier payments, and collection of receivables).

​ I need consent from more than one director/officer. Can I still apply?

Your business can complete the agreement with the consent of only one authorized signing officer.

​I have more than one business. Do you I qualify for a CEBA for each business?

If you have multiple businesses, any business that meets the eligibility criteria can apply for a CEBA. Please fill out a separate application for each one. 

​I only have a personal account at FirstOntario, but I am a sole proprietor. Am I still eligible?

The CEBA is only available to our business Members who’ve had an active business account prior to March 1, 2020.

Please visit the Government of Canada’s website for more information on relief options for sole proprietors.

​I’m already receiving other business benefits from government relief programs, can I still apply for a CEBA?

Yes. If you and your business meet the eligibility criteria, you can benefit from programs that are offered through financial institutions and the government. 

​What are my options if I don’t qualify for a CEBA?

If you need assistance with the application or if you have questions about any other options that may or may not be available to you and your business, reach out to our business banking team for support.

Call 1-800-616-8878 and they will schedule a phone appointment for you. If you have already applied for a CEBA and been denied, you can visit to appeal the application process.

​Are there any other financial relief programs that can help?

Visit the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan page on the Government of Canada’s website. All of the support options for Canadians and businesses are listed. You can also connect with our business banking team to explore your options at FirstOntario.

Our account managers are happy to go through all of the support that is available to you during these challenging times. 

​How long will it take to receive the funds, once I complete the application and am approved for the CEBA loan?

Members who are eligible and approved for a CEBA loan can expect to receive their funds within seven business days.

​What are my options if I don't qualify for a CEBA?

If you need assistance or if you have questions about any other options that may or may not be available to your business, reach out to our business banking team for support.  Call 1-800-616-8878 to schedule a phone appointment.

If you have already applied for a CEBA and been denied visit to learn more.