Personal Finance By Stephanie Thomas 246 Views

Calgary business owner frustrated with RBC over accessing small business loan

CALGARY -- Only able to respond to emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Landon Johnston believed his HVAC small business would get a financial boost from a federal support loan  designed to support small businesses experiencing exactly that.

Instead, Johnston said his bank (RBC) is giving him the run around online and he has not been able to access funds he says he qualifies for.

“As of right now, they have got a stranglehold of people who are struggling with this and there is nothing (I) can do about it," he said.

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) has established a small business loan of up to $40,000 for those who qualify.

If the balance of the loan is paid back by December 31, 2022, up to $10,000 of the loan will be forgiven.

The accounts are being facilitated by Canadian banks.

Despite numerous calls to the help line, emails to representatives of RBC and a phone meeting, Johnston said he has not been given a clear reason why he was not able to access funds.

“I’m exhausted," he said. "A lot of companies are going to go under.”

In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson from RBC said,  “there are no issues with the system and it is not RBC’s intent, nor is it in our interest, to prevent clients from accessing CEBA,” said AJ Goodman.

RBC clients that meet the government’s eligibility criteria will see a banner message in the Online Banking for Business pages to apply for CEBA online.

Since the program launched, the bank has process 60,000 approved CEBA applications, Goodman said.

He also said RBC will be reaching out to more clients on Friday to apply for CEBA through them, as the government has expanded the payroll eligibility requirement.

According to a government of Canada website, CEBA requires that applicants have employment income paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in 2019.

The borrower (should have) “an active business chequing/operating account with the lender opened on or prior to to March 1."


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