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We're here for our Business Members

Now Accepting Applications

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

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UPDATE: The federal government announced changes to the CEBA program on August 31, 2020

  • Application deadline for the CEBA program is extended to October 31, 2020.
  • Work is underway to make the CEBA program available to businesses that have so far been unable to apply for the CEBA program, due to the fact that they do no operate from a business banking account.  We expect to receive further details from the government in the coming days about this change, including how the expanded program will work and related details about the application process. 

We will share more information as soon as we receive the details and learn more.

New CEBA Call Centre Support

Contact the new CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201 to receive a status update on your CEBA application. 

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 as of March 1, 2020 (i.e. not a holding company), in good financial health before the impact of COVID-19, with federal tax registration
  • Annual payroll in the 2019 calendar year between $20,000 and $1.5 million, based on 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid statement. 
  • OR applicants with payroll of $20,000 or less paid in the 2019 calendar year have CRA business number, files 2018 or 2019 tax return and have eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Examples eligible non-deferrable expenses could include: rent, property taxes, utilities and insurance. Expenses will be subject to verification by Government of Canada for approval..
  • 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.

Businesses must not have previously used the CEBA program, must acknowledge intention to continue to operate or resume operations and agree to participate in surveys undertaken by federal government.

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.

Submitting your application

Download the CEBA User Guide PDF for help submitting your application.

Where can I get an update on my CEBA application?

​Contact the new CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201 to receive a status update on your CEBA application. 

Request a CEBA loan to help cover operating costs

Use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browsers to access our online application.

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.

​ 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.  Each qualifying business must have a unique nine-digit Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business Number. Each qualifying business is limited to one CEBA loan.

​I only have a personal account at FirstOntario. 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.

​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?

No organizations involved in administering the CEBA program have the authority to grant exceptions, including FirstOntario. If declined, an applicant may re-apply if there is a need to provide additional information or to make a correction.

​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 17 business days. The amount of time to complete the approval process varies between the two CEBA application options.

For the Non-Deferrable Expenses option, processing time starts when your application form and all required supporting documentation is received by the Government of Canada. Your application and supporting documentation must be properly completed to start the eligibility validation process.

​Are there businesses that are excluded from the CEBA program?

There are businesses that are ineligible for the CEBA program, including: government organizations, non-profit organizations, registered charities, unions, or fraternal benefit society or order; entities owned by any Federal Member of Parliament or Senator.

Also ineligible are businesses that promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, colour, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, age, or mental or physical disability, contrary to applicable law. 

​Are there any restrictions on how I can use the CEBA funds?

CEBA loans are to be used to pay non-deferrable operating expenses such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax and regularly scheduled debt service. 

​What are the Eligible Non-Deferrable expense categories?

Eligible Non-Deferrable Expense categories are:

  • Wages and other employment expenses to independent third parties;
  • Rent or lease payments for real estate or capital equipment used for business purposes;
  • Payments incurred for insurance related costs; property taxes; and payments incurred for business purposes for telephone and utilities in the form of gas, oil, electricity, water and internet;
  • Payments for regularly scheduled debt service;
  • Payments incurred under agreements with independent contractors and fees required to maintain licenses, authorizations or permissions necessary to conduct business.

​ What are the other Government of Canada COVID-19 programs that will cause adjustment to the amount of 2020 Eligible Non-Deferrable Expenses that can be reported?

Some programs include the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance, Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.