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The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP): What it is and how to apply

Keep your business afloat during COVID-19 with the BCAP or Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility.

We’ll continue updating this page with resources and information related to the Business Credit Availability Program as new details emerge on how Canadian leaders and businesses are responding to COVID-19.

What is the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)?

The government has provided Business Development Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) with funds to partner with private financial institutions and cooperatively provide loans through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to small and medium-sized businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. The BCAP has 4 individual components (detailed below).

  • The Government of Canada has extended the deadline for BCAP applications to December 31st, 2021. As of June 30th, 2021, the Government of Canada is no longer accepting CEBA applications.

To qualify for financing, businesses have to have been financially viable prior to the coronavirus outbreak and must be directly or indirectly hurt by the outbreak now. Business owners should contact their financial institutions, which will oversee the application and approval process, administer financing and supervise repayment.

Summary of Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) options

Funding programSummaryApplication deadline
Co-Lending ProgramReceive up to $12.5 million to meet operational cash flow requirementsDecember 31, 2021
BCAP GuaranteeReceive up to $6.25 million for rent, payroll and operating costsDecember 31, 2021
Mid-Market Financing Program (merged with the Oil and Gas Sector Financing program)Receive junior loans from $12.5 million to $60 million for medium-sized businessesDecember 31, 2021
Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) GuaranteeThese loans are 100% guaranteed for $25,000 to $1 million towards operational cash flowDecember 31, 2021

You can read more about each Business Credit Availability Program option below. Keep reading to also learn about other government business financing programs like LEEFF and CEBA.


BDC Co-Lending Program

Until December 31st, 2021, eligible businesses can get loans between $1 million to $12.5 million, which is co-funded between the BDC and your lending financial institutions.

Quick facts

  • Loan amounts between $1 million and $12.5 million (includes regular payments that must be made on existing debt)
  • Postpone repayment for up to 12 months if needed (offer available until December 31st, 2021)
  • Can be combined with other BCAP funding
  • Funds can only be used to support operational cash flow needs

How to apply

  • Contact your bank

Eligibility

  • All business that have been affected by coronavirus may apply
  • Your business must have been financially stable prior to coronavirus
  • Subject to your bank’s credit requirements

    EDC BCAP Guarantee

    Until December 31st, 2021, the EDC is working with lending financial institutions to guarantee 80% of loans up to $6.25 million, the amount of which depends on the financial institution through which you apply.

    Quick facts

    • Loan or line of credit of up to $6.25 million
    • Repayment period is 5 years
    • Loan amount determined by your financial institution
    • Can defer fees related to the EDC’s guarantee of small credit amounts for the first 6 months
    • Funds can only be used to support business operating costs (can’t be used to handle existing debt)

    How to apply

    • Contact your bank

    Eligibility

    • You operate a Canadian business that has been in business since March 1st, 2020 or before
    • Your business must have been financially stable prior to the COVID-19 economic crisis
    • Business that have been affected by coronavirus may apply including those that do not have any export sales
    • Subject to your bank’s loan criteria and credit requirements

    BDC Mid-Market Financing Program (merged with Oil and Gas Sector Financing program)

    Medium-sized businesses with annual revenues of approximately $100 million to $500 million (not a strict rule) may be able to get loans between $12.5 million and $60 million to remain liquid and continue operating. Loans are offered in partnership with the BDC and private financial institutions. Available until December 31st, 2021.

    Quick facts

    • Loans between $12.5 million and $60 million for medium-sized businesses
    • Loan spans 4 years, and the principal is repaid at the end as a balloon payment
    • Available for businesses in any sector or industry, including the oil and gas sector
    • Must be used to cover operational liquidity needs and business continuity activities

    How to apply

    Eligibility

    • Business with annual revenue over $100 million
    • Businesses that have been affected by coronavirus

      9 ways to increase business cash flow during coronavirus


      Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

      Canadian-based businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 can apply for a guaranteed, low-interest loans ranging between $25,000 and $1 million for operational cash flow. Available until December 31st, 2021.

      Quick facts

      • The HASCAP Guarantee offer loan amounts between $25,000 and $1 million
      • Loans are guaranteed by the BDC for 100% of the loan value towards increasing your company’s ability to get new credit
      • Your loan terms can last up to 10 years, with principal payment postponement available for up to 12 months
      • You’ll be charged a low interest rate of 4%

      How to apply

      • Apply with one financial institution only. Check this list for participating financial institutions

      Eligibility

        Loans for small businesses affected by coronavirus


        Too big for BCAP: The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

        If your business is too large to qualify for Business Credit Availability Program financing, don’t worry – the government has another program that might provide a solution. The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) provides support for individual companies that have a sizable impact on the national economy and are currently experiencing financial troubles as a result of coronavirus.

        Large Canadian businesses that (1) have a significant impact on the economy, (2) make at least $300 million in annual revenue, (3) need at least $60 million in financing and (4) are not in the financial sector can get term loans of $60 million or more from the government to cover cash flow needs for the next 12 months. To qualify, businesses must have significant operations in Canada and support a significant workforce in Canada.

        Funds are meant to address needs arising as a result of COVID-19, not previously existing insolvencies or restructurings. No maximum loan amount is specified on the government’s website. Note that the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEF) will appoint an observer to the borrower’s board of governors.

        Quick facts

        • Loan amounts of $60 million or more
        • 80% of the loan is unsecured, 20% is secured
        • Unsecured portion: Annual interest rate is 5% for the first year, 8% the second year and increases 2% each year afterwards. Loan term is 5 years.
        • Secured portion: Annual interest rate and loan term are based on the interest rate and term of the company’s existing secured debt
        • No early repayment penalties
        • Designed to cover cash flow needs for the upcoming 12 months

        How to apply

        • Email applications@ceefc-cfuec.ca to express your interest in applying. Make sure to include the required information below in your email.
        • You will be contacted by representatives from both the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEF) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to continue the process.

        Eligibility

        • Annual revenue of $300 million or more
        • Need a loan of at least $60 million
        • Your business must have significant operations in Canada
        • Your business must employ a significant workforce
        • Not available for businesses in the financial sector

          Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Types of benefits & how to apply


          Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

          • As of June 30th, 2021, the Government of Canada is no longer accepting new applicants for the CEBA program. Keep reading to learn details about the CEBA program.

          The federal government has guaranteed up to $25 billion in interest-free loans to eligible small businesses (this includes sole business owners and operators, not-for-profits, contractor-reliant business and family-owned businesses that pay employees in the form of dividends).

          Lines of credit up to $60,000 will be available with a 0% interest rate to businesses that spent between $20,000 and $1,500,000 total on payroll in 2019. Repayments can be made at your own pace with no fees or penalties until December 31, 2022. If your loan is repaid by the end of 2022, then 33% of it (up to $20,000) will be forgiven. Loans that aren’t repaid by then can be converted into a 3-year term loan with a 5% interest rate.

          Once approved, businesses should be able to receive funds within a few days. If you already applied for a CEBA under the previous lending limit of $40,000, you can apply for a $20,000 expansion to bring your total funding up to the current limit of $60,000.

          You had until June 30, 2021 to apply regardless of whether you’re a first-time applicant or applying for an expansion. Learn more on the Government of Canada website.

          Quick facts

          • Loan amounts up to $60,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits
          • Interest free and fee free until December 31, 2022
          • 33% of the loan (up to $20,000) will be forgiven if fully paid back by December 31, 2022. If not repaid by then, loan converts to a 3-year term loan at 5% interest.
          • Funds are meant to cover non-deferrable operating expenses (payroll, rent, utilities, property tax, insurance etc.)

          How to apply

          • Contact your bank

          Eligibility

          • Borrower cannot have had a CEBA previously and will not apply for CEBA support at any other financial institution
          • Businesses with a 2019 payroll between $20,000 and $1.5 million
          • Businesses with a payroll worth less than this amount may qualify with a CRA business number, a 2018 or 2019 tax return and eligible non-deferrable tax expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million CAD (i.e. rent, property taxes, utilities and insurance)
          • Borrower has to have an active chequing account in good standing with its bank opened before March 1, 2020. Cannot have been in arrears for more than 90 days. (Conditions apply.)
          • Business intends to continue (or resume) operations
          • Borrower agrees to participate in post-funding surveys from the Government of Canada or its agents

          Compare loans for small businesses affected by coronavirus

          Government loans aren’t your only options when comes to getting financing to help your business. Compare business loan options from the Canadian lenders in the table below.

          Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Minimum Revenue Minimum Time in Business Loans Offered
          SharpShooter Funding Business Loan
          Prime pricing from 9.00%
          $500 - $250,000
          6 - 120 months
          $10,000 /month
          100 days
          Unsecured Term, Merchant Cash Advance, Invoice Factoring
          To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 100 days with a minimum of $10,000 in monthly deposits.

          SharpShooter provides capital to small businesses that are underserved by banks and credit unions. It measures overall business health and potential rather than focusing strictly on traditional metrics. Fill out a simple application and get pre-approved in minutes. Receive your funds within 24 hours.
          Swoop Funding Business Loan
          4.00% - 25.00%
          $1,000 - $5,000,000
          3 - 60 months
          $10,000 /month
          24 months
          Term, MCA, LOC & more
          To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 24 months and have a minimum of $100,000 in annual revenue.

          Swoop partners with banks and alternative lenders to match your business with the right funding options. Register for free and browse your offers without affecting your credit score.
          OnDeck Business Loan
          8.00% – 29.00%
          $5,000 - $300,000
          6 - 18 months
          $10,000 /month
          6 months
          Secured Term, Line of Credit, Merchant Cash Advance
          To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 6 months with a minimum monthly revenue of $10,000.

          OnDeck offers fast and simple financing. Apply in less than 10 minutes with your basic business information and see your loan offers without hurting your credit score. Get approved within 1 business day, and choose your term, amount and payback schedule once approved.
          Loans Canada Business Loan
          Prime Pricing from 9.00%
          $2,000 - $350,000
          3 - 60 months
          $4,166 /month
          100 days
          Unsecured Term
          To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 100 days, have a credit score of 410+ and show a minimum of $4,166 in monthly deposits ($50,000/year).

          Loans Canada connects Canadian small business owners to lenders offering financing up to $350,000. Complete one simple online application and get matched with your loan options.
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          Compare up to 4 providers

          FAQs about the Business Credit Availability Program

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