The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program, or HASCAP, has been launched by the Canadian Government in an effort to provide financial support to businesses that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. Eligible businesses can apply for aid as early as Feb. 1, 2021, at principal financial institutions, and more widely by Feb. 15, 2021.
HASCAP Guarantee available until June 30, 2021
The loans range between $25,000 and $1 million for single businesses, with the amount depending on the size of the operation. Companies with multiple locations, such as a chain of hotels or restaurants, are eligible for loans of up to $6.25 million. HASCAP is offering flexible and competitive loan terms, with low interest and a repayment term of up to 10 years. There is also up to a 12-month postponement of principal payments at the start of the loan.
HASCAP eligible businesses
HASCAP is available to businesses across the country and in all sectors, including restaurants, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those that rely on in-person service. These federally backed loans are to help businesses keep operations running while public health restrictions are in place. The money can be used for rent, utilities, payroll and other costs. However, they can’t be used to pay or refinance existing loans. In order to qualify, businesses must:
- Be Canadian based.
- Have been financially stable and viable prior to the current economic situation.
- Show a year-over-year revenue decline of at least 50 per cent in three months, not necessarily consecutive, within eight months prior to their application.
- Have previously applied for either the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).
If a business meets all HASCAP eligibility criteria, but does not qualify for CEWS and CERS, it must provide financial statements that reflect three months in which monthly year-over-year revenue decreased by at least 50 per cent within the eight-month period prior to the date of the HASCAP guarantee application.
“So whether it is your favourite neighbourhood restaurant, that bed and breakfast, a local movie theatre, or even a franchise restaurant or hotel, businesses that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 will now have the support that they need to keep moving forward.” – Small Business Minister Mary Ng
For more information and to apply, businesses can contact their primary financial institution. HASCAP Factsheet