The deadline for Canadian businesses to repay pandemic loans and receive partial forgiveness has arrived, as business groups say it could mean closure for many firms. 

Hundreds of thousands of businesses and non-profits received a Canada Emergency Business Account loan of up to $60,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up to one-third of the loans could be forgiven if the outstanding amount is repaid by today, otherwise the debt will convert into a three-year loan with five per cent annual interest. 

Businesses also have the option to refinance the loan with a financial institution, giving them until March 28 to set up the arrangement and still be eligible for partial forgiveness.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Restaurants Canada have been calling for another extension to the deadline. 

But on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it's time to wrap up pandemic financial aid programs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2024.