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Canadian banks are now accepting applications for the third phase of the federal government’s Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program, which offers interest-free, partially forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to businesses affected by Covid-19.

The eligibility rules for CEBA, which is administered by Export Development Canada (EDC), were expanded in May. Sole proprietors and businesses with payrolls under $20,000 can now apply for the benefit, provided they have eligible non-deferrable expenses.

There is a change to the application process during the third phase of CEBA.

Previously, banks enrolled businesses in CEBA and the EDC would screen for eligibility once loans had been extended. Now, businesses will be required to provide additional documentation to the EDC to determine eligibility before a loan can be approved.

According to a release from the Canadian Bankers Association, more than 669,000 CEBA loans had been approved as of June 15, representing over $26 billion in interest-free credit for eligible businesses.