YOU’RE COMPANY IS LOOKING FOR A SMALL BUSINESS LOAN!
THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA SMALL BUSINESS FINANCING PROGRAM
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Financing & Cash flow are the biggest issues facing business today
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The federal small business loan. When we think of the term ' shenanigans ' it conjures up images of fooling around. There are no shenanigans when it comes to Canada ' SBL' loan. It's a straight forward program for small businesses, start-ups included, to get the financing they need to start/grow their business.
Is the program a great idea? We think so and here's why, so let's dig in.
THE SBL IS NOT A GRANT!
For starters, any connotation you have with grants or handouts need to be dispelled right away. You don't have a ' right ' to receive approval for such financing, so it’s a bad idea if you think you are on the ' auto qualifies ' path. You are not.
WHO RUNS THE SBL PROGRAM - WHO CAN APPLY
What SBL loans are about is the fact that it's a government-guaranteed financing program that is the cornerstone of at least 7000-8000 businesses every year – for Billions ( yes that’s with a ‘ B’ ). The government, under ' INDUSTRY CANADA ' guarantees the majority of your loan to Canada's chartered banks. The general theory around the federal small business loan is that the bank is making a loan under conditions they otherwise might not be able to make to Canadian businesses with revenues up to 10 Million $, which is the size cap for companies wishing to apply for a loan amount.
BENEFITS OF THE CANADA SMALL BUSINESS LOAN ARE SIGNIFICANT
When you are approved for such an SBL loan financing it's safe to assume you have a good deal. Why? Simply speaking rates, terms and structures are both attractive and competitive. Loan rates are 3% over prime, financing is repayable at any time without penalty, and the whole issue of personal guarantees is often allayed because of the need to provide only a 25% personal covenant for the loan. Those sorts of terms, especially when it comes to startups, or franchises, are ultra attractive and simply not available with other more traditional loan financings. A small registration fee is required upon approval, and that amount can actually be bundled into the financing. The interest rate on the program is very competitive and terms and conditions are flexible regarding term and repayment.
THE BASICS AROUND CREDIT APPROVAL
So how does the bank, which administers the loan program for the government, assess credit criteria? As we said, there are no shenanigans here; it’s a very simple shortlist of criteria. Owners must have reasonable personal credit, they must be able to make a 10% permanent down payment (equity) contribution, and they must have a proper business location backed up by a premises lease.
WHAT CAN, AND CAN'T BE FINANCED UNDER AN SBL LOAN
By the way, the SBL program in Canada is really one of the only vehicles that allow you to finance leasehold improvements which typically are difficult to finance under normal circumstances. Contrary to the belief of some this is not a working capital or term loan - it finances equipment, leaseholds, and real estate.
You also must ensure you supply a business plan and cash flow projection that demonstrates your ability to repay the loan, which has a maximum borrowing of $ 1,000,000.00. Remember that the SBL lender, aka our Chartered banks, are not equity players. They have no upside! They’re just happy that you can make the loan payments out of cash flow from profits.
Most Canadian business owners and managers never seem to feel that business borrowing is straightforward. In reality, we agree its a bit of an art and science ... so seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can assist you with your SBL small business loan needs.
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