In partnership with Mentor Works, an organization with expertise in helping businesses develop plans to access government funding programs, we have planned a series of spotlight articles that will provide a thorough overview of the different federal and provincial COVID-19 funding programs available to support York Region-based businesses.
The Government of Canada has officially launched the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) to provide loans and pandemic support for all Canadian businesses, but specifically highly affected sectors such as hospitality and tourism. The government funding will support businesses of all sizes that have experienced a decrease in revenues by 50% or more as a direct result of COVID-19.
Qualified small to medium-sized Canadian businesses can receive from $25,000 to $1 million in HASCAP loans, and larger organizations with multiple locations such as a chain of restaurants or hotels can receive up to $6.25 million in funding support.
Canadian businesses that are deemed eligible will be able to utilize HASCAP loans towards rent, utilities, payroll, and other costs to keep operations sustainable during the ongoing restrictions presented by the pandemic, but the loans cannot be used to pay or refinance any existing loans a business may have already accumulated throughout the past year.
Funding Snapshot: HASCAP Loans for COVID-19 Support
Administered through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) supports all types and sizes of Canadian businesses that have been hit hard by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Whether it is your favourite neighbourhood restaurant, that bed and breakfast, a local movie theatre, or even a franchise restaurant or hotel, businesses that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 will now have the support that they need to keep moving forward.”Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade
Your business can apply for a HASCAP loan for each legal entity you own, up to a maximum combined amount of $6.25 million (all legal entities combined).
- Up to $25,000 to $1 million in loans for a single, small to medium-sized business.
- Up to $6.25 million in loans for large organizations with multiple business locations.
Based on the following eligibility criteria established by the Government of Canada, a primary financial institution will determine whether a business qualifies for HASCAP loans.
- Your business must be based in Canada.
- 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 Wage 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 an 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 at least three months where your revenue decreased by a minimum 50% within the eight-month period prior to the date of the HASCAP Guarantee application.
HASCAP loans cannot be used to pay or refinance existing debts; the loan will be used exclusively to continue or resume operations by relief of payments relating to:
- Rent payments
- Employee payroll
- Any additional costs deemed eligible to sustain business operations
- The HASCAP Guarantee is available until June 30, 2021.
- From a 4% interest rate and a repayment term of up to 10 years.
- Up to a 12-month postponement of principal payments at the start of the loan.
How to Apply for the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)
Canadian business owners highly impacted by COVID-19 (more than 50% in revenue loss for at least three months) must contact their primary financial institution to determine whether the HASCAP program is right for them.
The core eligibility is based on the criteria established by the Government of Canada, meaning that no organization involved in administering the HASCAP Guarantee, including a primary financial institution or BDC, has the authority to grant any business an exception.
To learn more about HASCAP funding support and how to apply, please visit the official BDC Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee Page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mentor Works provides Canadian businesses with tailored, dynamic expertise to access government funding solutions. Our simplified approach allows businesses to accelerate their top strategic priorities and focus on what they do best.