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Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program  

Last updated: May. 16, 2021 

The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) is a new loan program from the federal government. HASCAP provides loans to Canadian businesses hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The program is designed for small businesses already receiving the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) 

However, if your business did not qualify for CEWS or CERS, you can still qualify for HASCAP. Your business must have seen a revenue decline of 50% or more for at least 3 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

You can receive a low-interest loan (4%) between $25,000 and $1 million with a repayment term of up to 10 years. There’s up to a 12-month postponement on principal repayments at the start of the loan.

The loan will help you cover operational cash flow needs so you can keep your business afloat during this challenging time. Note: you can’t use HASCAP to pay or refinance existing debts.  

Who is eligible? 

To qualify, your business must: 

  • Have been financially stable and viable prior to the COVID-19 pandemic  
  • Must have received either CEWS or CERS by having demonstrated a minimum 50% revenue decline, for at least 3 months, within the last 8-month period prior to the date of your HASCAP 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 (not necessarily consecutive) in which monthly year-over-year revenue decreased by at least 50% within the 8-month period prior to the date of the HASCAP application

How do I apply?

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is administrating the program through participating financial institutions.  

Contact your primary financial institution that handles your day-to-day banking to determine if you’re eligible for the program. They will guide you through the application process.  

What is the deadline?

You have until June 30, 2021 to apply.  

What if I’ve received the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), or other COVID-19 programs from the federal government? Can I still apply for HASCAP?  

Yes, you can still apply for HASCAP. Contact your primary financial institution to confirm that you are eligible and they’ll start the application process with you.  

Which financial institutions are participating in HASCAP? 

BDC has a full list of participating institutions on their website. Your financial institution will take you through the application and any other additional details required.  

What size of loan can I apply for?  

It’s up to you, as long as you meet the qualifying criteria. Depending on the amount of financing that your business requires, you will need to meet certain risk rating requirements 

Contact FBC 

If you’d like to learn more about this or other COVID-19 programs for Canadian businesses, please call us at 1-800-265-1002 or email Unlimited consultation related to tax matters is a key benefit of FBC Membership. You can also book an appointment. 

 Visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre for the latest information, advice and insights for small business owners.