Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade, announced the launch of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program, or HASCAP. This loan program is specifically targeted towards businesses 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. Hardest hit business, with multiple locations under one related entity, could be eligible for up to $6.25 million. The guiding principles of HASCAP are to help businesses with their day-to-day operating cash flow needs during the COVID -19 crisis and enable them to invest in their recovery and long-term prosperity.
To be eligible for HASCAP, business need to show a year-over-year revenue decline of at least 50% in three months (can be non-consecutive) within the eight months prior to their application. Business must also be able to illustrate they have previously applied for either the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).
HASCAP applications will open on February 1 at major financial institutions and more widely by February 15th.
CAEM is encouraged by the announcement of the HASCAP program and in particular, the federal government’s recognition that more support is needed for those sectors relying on in-person services – like trade and consumer shows. While this program is a step in the right direction and will provide some much-needed relief for our industry, CAEM remains steadfastly committed to advocating for additional relief measures such as increased wage subsidy support; relief from fixed costs and access to sector-specific funding.
For more information regarding HASCAP, please click here.