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On January 26, 2021, Finance announced the launch of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program or HASCAP. As first outlined in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, HASCAP will provide financial support to businesses that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

Through HASCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work 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. HASCAP will help businesses with their day-to-day operating costs during the COVID-19 crisis and enable them to invest in their longer-term prosperity.

Eligible businesses can start applying as early as February 1 at principal financial institutions and more widely by February 15. Interested businesses should contact their primary lender to get more information and to apply.

The loans will range from $25,000 – $1,000,000 with repayment terms of up to 10 years and borrowers will have the ability to postpone principal payments for up to 12 months at the start of the loan.

Eligibility Requirements

Your primary financial institution will determine whether you qualify for this program, based on the eligibility criteria established by the Government of Canada. 

Requirements are as follows: 

  • Your business is Canadian based.

  • Your business must have been financially stable and viable prior to the current economic situation.

  • You must have received payments either from the Canada Emergency Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) by having demonstrated a minimum 50% revenue decline for at least three months (not necessarily consecutive) within the eight-month period prior to the date of the HASCAP Guarantee application.
  • If your business does not qualify for CEWS and CERS, but otherwise meets all HASCAP eligibility criteria, you must provide financial statements that reflect three months (not necessarily consecutive) in which monthly year-over-year revenue decreased by at least 50% within the eight-month period prior to the date of the HASCAP Guarantee application.
  • The loan will be used to continue or resume operations.

  • The loan cannot be used to pay or refinance existing.

  • You can apply for a loan under the HASCAP Guarantee for each legal entity you own, up to a maximum combined amount of $6.25 million (all legal entities combined). Download the one-page HASCAP Guarantee reference sheet here.

  • Other conditions may also apply.

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