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Aerial view of Halifax centred on the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

Hard-hit Tourism Businesses Can Now Apply for Low-interest Federal Loan Program

Monday, February 8, 2021

The Government of Canada has introduced a new loan program for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19.

Through Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program, or HASCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million.

Loans can be used to pay rent, utilities, payroll, or other business expenses. Businesses can benefit from a 4% interest rate and a repayment term of up to 10 years, and up to a 12-month postponement of principal payments at the start of the loan.

HASCAP is available to businesses across the country, in all sectors, that have been hit hard by the pandemic. This includes restaurants, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those that rely on in-person service.

To be eligible for HASCAP, businesses need to show a year-over-year revenue decline of at least 50% in three months, within the eight months prior to their application. They must also be able to show their financial institutions that they have previously applied for either the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.

Eligible businesses can now apply at principal financial institutions and applications will be accepted more widely by February 15. Interested businesses should contact their primary lender to get more information and to apply.

More information is available at   

Find more COVID-19 supports and resources for tourism businesses on our fact sheet.