Federal government launches new $1 million interest-free loan program for hard-hit businesses

 | February 1, 2021

Businesses are encouraged to approach primary lenders to apply 

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The federal government has launched its newest program aimed at helping small businesses stay solvent during this difficult period. 

The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) will see the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) work in coordination with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million.

Hard-hit businesses, like a chain of hotels or restaurants with multiple locations under one related entity, could be eligible for up to $6.25 million.

“Since day one of the COVID-19 crisis, our government has been there to support Canada’s businesses and the millions of Canadians they employ,” stated Mary Ng, minister of small business, export promotion and international trade, in a press release. 

“We know that even the most resilient businesses continue to face incredible challenges. We are launching the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program to help those businesses hit hardest by the pandemic with low-interest, government-backed loans.”

To be eligible for HASCAP, businesses need to show a year-over-year revenue decline of at least 50 per cent in three months, within the eight months prior to their application. 

They must also be able to show their financial institutions that they have previously applied for either the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.

Interested businesses should contact their primary lender to get more information and to apply.