Changes to the Canada Emergency Business Account Announced

Please note: the federal government is constantly updating their website as new information is announced. Remember to check Canada’s official coronavirus webpage and CREA’s COVID-19 online hub to stay up to date.

Earlier today (Tuesday, May 19), the federal government announced important changes to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) welcomes this announcement as we’ve been advocating for changes to the CEBA that would allow more REALTORS® to access the program. CREA highlighted the need to capture a diversity of business models and consider expenses other than payroll in a recent written brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

Specifically, today’s announcement indicates CEBA will be made available to 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.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return; and
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities and insurance.

CREA will continue to work with government to address the eligibility criteria that requires a business account. In today’s press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “Minister (Mary) Ng is working on potential solutions for those that rely on a personal account to run their business” and we look forward to engaging further.

More information about CEBA can be found here. The changes announced today are expected to take effect in the coming weeks as application details are worked out.

This email is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. If you need professional advice you should consult a lawyer, accountant or other qualified professional.

The Canadian Real Estate Association
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