How the HASCAP Guarantee can help your business

February 17, 2021 Zoé Paradis

Businesses all over Canada are facing financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing that some businesses are harder hit than others, the Government of Canada has launched the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Program (HASCAP) Guarantee in the hopes of helping eligible businesses continue their operations.

What is the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program Guarantee?

The HASCAP Guarantee is a program that offers low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to qualifying Canadian businesses. It was created to help support businesses that have been especially hard-hit by the challenges faced during the pandemic such as travel, tourism, hospitality, and arts and culture sectors.

Which businesses are eligible for the HASCAP Guarantee?

To be eligible for a loan under the HASCAP Guarantee, your business must meet the following criteria:

  • Your business is Canadian-based
  • Your business was financially stable before the pandemic and revenue has decreased by 50% or more because of COVID-19
  • You received payments from the Canada Emergency Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) because you demonstrated that your business experienced a 50% decline in revenue for at least three of the eight months before submitting your application for the HASCAP Guarantee
  • If your business did not qualify for CEWS or CERS, but meets all the other criteria, you have the option of providing financial statements for any three of the eight months preceding the date upon which you submit your HASCAP Guarantee application and in which your monthly year-over-year revenue decreased by at least 50% per month

For more information, consult the full list of HASCAP Guarantee eligibility criteria.

What can the loan be used for?

The loan may be used to support the day-to-day operations of your business so that your business may resume or continue. The loan cannot be used to pay off or refinance existing debt.

When does the loan have to be repaid? What are the conditions of the loan?

Loans acquired through the HASCAP Guarantee are subject to a 4% interest rate with up to 10 years to repay. Principal payments may be postponed by up to 12 months from the start of the loan.

How do I apply for a loan under the HASCAP Guarantee?

You can apply through your primary financial institution. While you can apply for a loan for each legal entity you own (for up to $6.25 million total), you must apply through one financial institution.

When can I apply?

Financial institutions began accepting applications for the HASCAP Guarantee on February 1, 2021. The program continues until June 30, 2021.

Additional resources

Looking for more financial support? Learn more about the many subsidy and loan programs available.

January 7, 2021: Where SMBs Can Find Financial Support Now

December 16, 2020: What The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund Can Do For Your SMB

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