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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.

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We’ll continue updating this page with resources and information 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 to small and medium-sized businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. The BCAP has 5 individual components (detailed below).

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.

BDC Co-Lending Program

Until June 2021, eligible businesses can get loans of up to $12.5 million from the BDC, 80% of which is covered by the BDC, while the other 20% is covered by 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
  • Can be combined with other BCAP funding
  • Funds can only be used to support operational cash flow needs


  • 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

How to apply

  • Contact your bank

EDC BCAP Guarantee

Until June 2021, the EDC is working with lending financial institutions to guarantee 80% of loans, the amount of which depends on the financial institution through which you apply.

Quick facts

  • Loan or line of credit
  • 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)


  • 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

How to apply

  • Contact your bank

BDC Mid-Market Financing Program

Medium-sized businesses with annual revenues of approximately $100 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 June, 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
  • Must be used to cover operational liquidity needs and business continuity activities


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

How to apply

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Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

The federal government is guaranteeing 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 have until March 31, 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.)


  • 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

How to apply

  • Contact your bank

BDC Oil and Gas Sector Financing

Canadian-based businesses that produce oil and gas, oilfield service companies and midstream providers may qualify for loans ranging from $12.5 million to $60 million to cash flow and remain operational. Available until June, 2021.

Quick facts

  • Loan amounts between $15 million and $60 million
  • Loan spans 4 years, and the principal is repaid at the end as a balloon payment
  • Funds can only be used to support operational cash flow and business continuity


  • Must be a viable Canadian-based oil and gas producer, oilfield service company or midstream provider

How to apply

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 BCAP 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


  • 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

How to apply

  • Email to express your interest in applying. You’ll be sent a non-disclosure agreement, application form and instructions.
  • 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.

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