On April 6, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced that Canada’s beleaguered Cannabis sector would be getting access to the $40 billion Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) which includes access to the Canada Emergency Business Account, during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
This update came after pressure by the cannabis industry on Export Development Canada (EDC) and the BDC had originally announced that the cannabis industry was not eligible for the program.
BDC’s official statement reads that “all legal businesses will be eligible for the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), for the duration of the program”, and that “businesses in the cannabis sector and those in the hospitality sector operating bars and lounges will now be eligible”.
As of April 9, banks have officially opened enrolment for this program, by way of the Canada Emergency Business Account, meant to provide up to $40,000 in interest-free loans to small businesses with payrolls of less than $1 million. According to the Prime Minister’s office, a quarter of this loan (up to $10,000) is eligible for forgiveness.
Companies interested in accessing these programs will need to do so through their own financial institutions.