Government Launches Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program
The federal government is working closely with financial institutions to support Canadian businesses impacted by Covid-19 through the launch of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP). This loan is intended to provide financial aid to those Canadian businesses that are operating in hard-hit sectors such as hospitality and tourism. The program opened on February 1, 2021, at select financial institutions. Eligible businesses can receive loans starting at $25,000 up to $1 million. Loans up to $6.25 million are also available to businesses with multiple locations, such as restaurant chains.
Eligible businesses are those meeting the following requirements:
- Based in Canada;
- Was financially stable and viable prior to the Covid-19 pandemic;
- Experiencing at least a 50% reduction in gross revenues for at least three months within the eight-month period prior to the date of application to HASCAP. The revenue decline does not need to occur in consecutive months; and
- Have received payments either from Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).
Details of Loan
The HASCAP loan will have a fixed interest rate of 4% with repayment of up to 10 years. Currently, the federal government has not announced that any portion of the loan will be forgivable, however, businesses can defer principal payments for the first 12 months of the loan. Business may use the proceeds to resume operations and cannot use it to pay down existing businesses debt.
Applications are now open and can be made through a financial institution. The application deadline is June 30, 2021. Businesses are being advised to contact their financial institution for more information on application details. Please note that companies are permitted to apply at one financial institution only. For additional information regarding participating banks and the application process please consult the HASCAP website at: https://hascap.ca/