Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario


Published on January 15, 2024

TORONTO – Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, joined MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre), Critic for Small Business, and local business leaders to call for support as businesses face an existential threat from looming federal loan deadline amidst a growing affordability crisis.

“This should be a wake-up call for the provincial government,” said Stiles. “Ford’s Conservatives are quick to extend lifelines to billion-dollar big box stores while leaving small business owners in the lurch. We implore this government to work with small business owners – not against them – to explore other ways we can support them in this difficult economy, step in before it’s too late for Ontario’s small businesses.”

Stiles and Wong-Tam called on the province to join the NDP’s call for an extension of the CEBA loan deadline until the end of 2024.

“CEBA was a life raft for small businesses during an incredibly difficult time,” said Wong-Tam. “The province is not powerless here; let’s work together to connect small businesses to more Ontario-made supply chains to further boost our economy and keep jobs in our province. And it’s time we start looking much more closely at commercial rent control to help save Ontario’s main streets from closure after closure after closure.”

Instead of supporting small businesses, Ford’s Conservatives are rewarding their corporate CEO friends at Shoppers, Staples, and Walmart.


Kelly Higginson, President & CEO of Restaurants Canada

“Despite the best efforts made by Restaurants Canada, the Federal Government has declined to extend the CEBA loan repayment deadline of January 18th, 2024. This decision leaves our members, representing thousands of restaurants across the country, with limited options to avoid bankruptcy and recover from the ongoing financial challenges that arose during the pandemic.”

Graham Hnatiw, Board Director of the St Lawrence Market BIA and owner of the Old Spaghetti Factory

“This is not realistic or fair. We are calling on the government to extend the CEBA forgivable deadline to the end of 2024. This would give small businesses the time they need to repay their loans and to continue to recover from the pandemic. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create jobs and support our communities. The St. Lawrence Market is a vibrant and diverse community, and our small businesses are at the heart of it. We cannot afford to let them down.”

John Kiru, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA)

"This issue goes beyond Toronto, it impacts so many across our province. We are grateful for the assistance that we received from all three levels of government as we were challenged through that period. But nobody understood how long recovery, including economic sustainability of our neighbourhoods, would take. We need the loan forgiveness deadline extended to December 31, 2024. We are willing to work with all levels of government to fix this."