News, updates, and so much more…

What OBIAA asked for on behalf of our
Main Street Small Businesses
When OBIAA met with Minister Valdez on August 30, our ask was simple, we called upon the Federal Government to enact the following changes to the CEBA program:

● Extend the CEBA repayment deadline to the end of 2024 or 2025 and/or; ● Create a multi-year, no interest, repayment plan for small businesses who received the Canada Emergency Business Account and; ● Extend the 33% (up to $20,000) forgiveness deadline for businesses who agree to a multi-year repayment plan.


Canada Emergency Business Account: Government extends repayment and partial loan forgiveness deadlines Source: Government of Canada

On September 14, 2023, the Prime Minister announced extended deadlines for Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan repayments, providing an additional year for term loan repayment, and additional flexibilities for loan holders looking to benefit from partial loan forgiveness of up to 33 per cent.

The CEBA program was available from April 9, 2020, to June 30, 2021, and provided $49 billion in interest-free, partially forgivable loans of up to $60,000 to nearly 900,000 small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to help cover their operating costs during the pandemic.

The repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness of up to 33 per cent is being extended from December 31, 2023, to January 18, 2024, recognizing that the end of December is a busy time for many Canadian businesses. This builds on the government’s previous one-year extension announced in January 2022.

For CEBA loan holders who make a refinancing application with the financial institution that provided their CEBA loan by January 18, 2024, the repayment deadline to qualify for partial loan forgiveness now includes a refinancing extension until March 28, 2024. This will allow more small businesses and not-for-profits to access relief and give them more time to hear back from their financial institutions on refinancing applications.

As of January 19, 2024, outstanding loans, including those that are captured by the refinancing extension, will convert to three-year term loans, subject to interest of five per cent per annum, with the term loan repayment date extended by an additional year from December 31, 2025, to December 31, 2026. Put simply, small businesses and not-for-profits will automatically have access to a three-year, low-interest loan of up to $60,000 if they have not repaid or refinanced their loan. This will provide those who are unable to secure refinancing or generate enough cashflow to repay their loans by the forgiveness deadline an additional year to continue repayment at a low borrowing cost.

Repayment on or before the new deadline of January 18, 2024 (or March 28, 2024 if a refinancing application is submitted prior to January 18, 2024 at the financial institution that provided their CEBA loan), will result in loan forgiveness of $10,000 for a $40,000 loan and $20,000 for a $60,000 loan.

Here are examples of how CEBA loan holders can benefit from new repayment flexibility:

  • Sarah and Nick need to pay off their $40,000 CEBA loan, but are unable to pay the full amount in time to benefit from $10,000 in partial loan forgiveness. On January 19, 2024, their loan converts to a three-year term loan with five per cent interest per year. They will make monthly interest payments of around $167 per month, and will only be required to pay their principal amount just before the term loan repayment deadline of December 31, 2026.
  • Doug applies for $40,000 in financing from the bank that provided his CEBA loan to pay off his $60,000 CEBA loan. He is unable to receive a response to his refinancing application by January 18, 2024. However, with the new refinancing extension, he has until March 28, 2024, to hear back from his bank and secure new financing to pay off his CEBA loan and benefit from $20,000 in partial loan forgiveness.

Financial institutions will contact CEBA loan holders directly regarding their loans. 

The above changes also apply to CEBA-equivalent lending through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. 

Associated links


Big Six banks open to refinancing CEBA loans for small businesses

The Big Six banks say they are open to refinancing Canada Emergency Business Account loans for small businesses, though they provided few details and say new terms will have to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

CEBA was the most widely used COVID-19 support program for businesses, with the federal government handing out loans of $40,000 or $60,000 to nearly 900,000 corporations in 2020 and 2021. The program was created by the government, but administered in co-ordination with financial institutions. The loans are government-backed.

Ottawa changed the repayment deadlines on Thursday after months of pressure from business groups, which argued that most small enterprises still have not financially recovered from the pandemic.

Click here to read more.

October Bridge Lighting Schedule 

The following fixtures will remain dark on Bridge 13 until the replacements are installed: 

– Wheel house – upper lighting fixtures on the east side

– West tower – all lighting

– East tower – south pully fixture

Femmes du Feu Creations is hosting fresh & inventive new contemporary circus works for our fall 2023 season in Welland, ON. All shows will be hosted at The Bank (Art House) on 22 King Street. Please join us for some spectacular works of aerial arts and circus. Show Title: Air Heart⁠ September 29th & 30th, 2023⁠ Time: 7PM⁠ Featuring Artist: Mara Neimanis⁠ of In Flight Theater Synopsis: ⁠ Daring aerial acrobatics are performed atop a 13 foot spinning airplane sculpture by aerial-actor Mara Neimanis as she brings to life the legendary aviatrix, Amelia Earhart, who disappeared trying to fly around the world. Through original script, historical fact, and poetic aerialism, Neimanis invokes Earhart’s mystery and final flight. ⁠ ⁠⁠ OCTOBER: SHOW: Show Title: Twist of Fate⁠ October 20th at 7:30PM October 21st at 2PM Featuring Artists: Angola Murdoch – Performer from Look Up Theatre Mathew Reid – Musician⁠ Synopsis: ⁠ Twist of Fate explores the universal experience of overcoming life’s obstacles presented in a profoundly personal way. It is the true story of our Artistic Director, Angola Murdoch. This performance depicts her diagnosis, surgery, and recovery from scoliosis and how she lives now with a 10-inch metal spine and has been an international professional circus artist for the last 20 years. ⁠ 🎟️ All tickets for all three shows will be purchased at the door, with a suggested donation of $10-$20⁠.

Canada’s largest grocery chains have agreed to ‘work’ on stabilizing food prices

The heads of Canada’s five largest grocery chains have “agreed to work with” the federal government to stabilize food prices, Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said Monday.

Champagne and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland met with the heads of Loblaw, Sobeys, Metro, Costco and Walmart in Ottawa on Monday. Freeland stayed only for the first few minutes of the two-hour meeting.

“As you would expect, those are difficult discussions but much-needed discussions at a time that Canadians are feeling the high prices of groceries,” Champagne said after the meeting.

Click here to read more.

The annual WZW is happening on Saturday, October 7th at 6 pm. This family-friendly event is open to all ages, and, we will be encouraging donations of non-perishable food items for The Hope Centre and pet food items for Pets Alive Niagara . Remember, everyone, this isn’t just a fun and creepy event, but all for a good cause: helping out our neighbours!
Everyone participating is asked to dress in their best zombie costume and meet in Downtown Welland. This is a family-friendly event and people of all ages are encouraged to participate or just come out to watch!
Meet at the Welland Farmers Market at 6pm.
The WZW starts after 7, making our way through downtown, and returning to the starting point. We will then be selecting some of the best zombie costumes, and awarding prizes for the best ones, with help from the audience. Prizes generously donated by many local businesses and individuals, in a number of categories.
Our route this year will take us from the Welland Farmers Market to Division Street, crossing at and going up Cross Street, turning onto East Main Street, across Bridge 13, looping back around on to Division Street bridge, following Division Street and retuning to the Welland Farmers Market.
We ask all zombies attending to please follow these guidelines for your safety and everyone’s enjoyment:
*Remain on sidewalks during the walk.
*Please obey all traffic signals and cross at crosswalks.
*No fake weapons.
*No touching spectators or property or vehicles.
And, most of all, have fun!
Let’s make this WZW a fun one for everyone like we all do together every year! Let’s show Welland we care, so please share, and be there! 






Media Release

Welland celebrates Francophone community with flag raising for Franco-Ontarian Day



September 19, 2023

Welland, ON – The City of Welland is recognizing its Francophone population today with a flag raising of the Franco-Ontarian flag at City Hall on Monday, September 25, at 9:30 a.m.

As one of Ontario’s 26 designated Francophone communities, the City of Welland displays its strong history of Francophone culture through its Discover Welland – Decouvrir page on its website. The page is a resource for residents and visitors alike and houses French-language news and resources. 

“Today, we recognize the contributions of the French-speaking community to Welland’s cultural and historical tapestry,” said Mayor Frank Campion. “I am proud to raise the Franco-Ontarian flag and support our French-Canadian residents.”

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario first designated September 25 as Franco-Ontarian Day in 2010. The City of Welland is proud of its French-Canadian heritage and will continue to support our Franco-Ontarian community.

The Franco-Ontarian flag was first raised in Sudbury in 1975. Since then, Franco-Ontarians have celebrated the anniversary of its flag on September 25. The green and white flag became the official emblem of Franco-Ontarians as of June 2001. 

Minister of Francophone Affairs, the Honourable Caroline Mulroney, also wrote a letter of support to the City of Welland for advancing the Francophone community’s many contributions to the City and the province.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Corporate Communications Manager

905-735-1700 x2337



Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
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Welland, Ontario L3B 3X4

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