Business COVID-19 Updates

Support for micro small and medium businesses and the non-profit and charitable sector 

Alterna is committed to supporting micro small, medium, non-profit and charitable sector businesses (SMEs) through the COVID-19 pandemic. As the engine that drives the Canadian economy, the viability of these businesses is paramount to Canada’s economic success. We’re here to help.

Financing is available to SMEs through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program and the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP).  

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA):

The CEBA program is available and delivered directly by Alterna. Now accepting CEBA 3.0 applications.  

  • Interest rate at 0% until December 31, 2022.
  • No minimum monthly principal payments until December 31, 2022.
  • Loan forgiveness up to 25% of the initial loan amount, to a maximum of $10,000, provided balance is fully paid on or before December 31, 2022. 
  • If the loan cannot be repaid by December 31, 2022, it can be converted into a 3-year term loan at an interest rate of 5% per annum. 
For additional information, visit the Government of Canada website.

Ready to start the process?

1.   Log in to online banking
2.   Select 'Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA)' under Account Services
3.   Complete and submit the form



Not signed up for online banking? Contact 1.877.560.0100 and we can get you started.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP):

The BCAP includes the following programs for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs):

  • Co-Lending Program for SMEs: BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program
  • Loan Guarantee for SMEs: EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.


Business Development Canada (BDC) Co-Lending Program*:

As part of the federal government’s new $65 billion Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), Alterna Savings and Business Development Canada (BDC) are partnering to provide operational cash flow requirements to SMEs impacted by COVID-19.

  • The BDC BCAP Program provides businesses with up to $12.5 million for cashflow needs, including regularly scheduled principal and interest payments on existing debt co-financed by BDC and Alterna Savings
  • Postpone principal payments for up to 12 months if you need additional breathing room. Available until or before September 30, 2020.
  • Only one company within a group may apply for loan under this program, without prior BDC approval.

For more details on the program, eligibility and application process, business members can contact their Alterna Account Manager.

BDC Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the BDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Co-Lending Program? Expand/Collapse


As part of the federal government’s new $65 billion Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), Alterna Savings and Business Development Canada (BDC) are partnering to provide operational cash flow requirements to SMEs impacted by COVID-19.

The BDC Program features:

  • While BDC’s Policy Permits Interest rate terms to 10 years, Alterna’s Policy is maximum 5 years and may be less.
  • Terms will be set individually, based on the risk profile of each Member.
  • Flexible terms - Postpone principal payments for up to 12 months if you need additional breathing room. Available until or before September 30, 2020.

Can this financing be combined with other products from the Business Credit Availability Programs (BCAP), such as EDC’s guarantee program for SMEs? Expand/Collapse


Yes, it is possible, please contact your Alterna Account Manager for further information.

What is the eligibility criteria? Expand/Collapse


To qualify for the BDC BCAP:

  • The business (or Entity must be a Canadian based commercial entity (with its principal activities in Canada) who’s business generates revenue from the sale of goods and services and its revenue is not economically dependent on non-commercial sources.
  • The Entity has been negatively impacted by the economic conditions created by Covid-19 and was financially viable prior to current economic environment
  • Your business was financially stable and viable prior to the current economic situation
  • The financing will be used solely to support operational cashflow requirements
  • Sole Proprietorships are not eligible for this program
  • Other eligibility criteria may apply
The member must NOT be an:
  • Entity whose principal activities include the manufacturing, sale, distribution of arms, armaments, ammunition and/or related products.
  • Entity that promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethical origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
  • Entity that operate any form of sexual exploitive business.
  • Entity operating rent-to-own firms pay day loans or other similar quasi-financial institutions

EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee*:

As part of the federal government’s new $65 billion Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), Alterna Savings and Export Development Canada (EDC) are partnering to provide financing to SMEs impacted by COVID-19.

  • The EDC BCAP Guarantee provides businesses with up to $6.25 million in credit to cover operational costs like payroll and rent.
  • Proceeds from the BCAP-supported loan cannot be used to repay or refinance existing debt (further restrictions apply to other non-operational costs).
  • Export sales are not required to qualify for the program.
  • EDC fees related to this guarantee will be deferred for the first six months, giving some short-term relief to your business.
  • EDC will provide a guarantee to Alterna Savings on 80% of the value of your loan. By sharing risk with EDC, we can help your company access the financing it needs.
  • The loan guarantee is to Alterna, not your business, so you remain responsible for the full value of the loan.

For more details on the program, eligibility and application process, business members can contact their Alterna Account Manager.

EDC Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee? Expand/Collapse


The EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee is an EDC-guaranteed business loan to help Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19. Eligible applicants can access up to $6.25 million CAD in short-term liquidity to cover expenses which are critical to business continuity such as rent, payroll and other operational costs.

The EDC Program features:

  • Fixed 80% EDC guarantee for 1 year, with potential to renew for another 5 year
  • EDC guarantee fee of 1.8% on the authorized loan amount
  • 6-month EDC Guarantee fee payment deferral, with no set up fee
  • Interest Only, with the option for to make principal payments at any time
  • Full repayment required at end of term

Is the EDC BCAP Guarantee only available to export-oriented businesses? Expand/Collapse


No. The EDC BCAP Guarantee will also be available to non-export, domestic businesses.

What is the eligibility criteria? Expand/Collapse


To qualify for an EDC BCAP, the member must:

  • Apply for a new cash flow term loan up to $6.25million CAD to finance short-term operations in response to COVID-19.
  • The business (or Entity must be a Canadian based commercial entity (with its principal activities in Canada) who’s business generates revenue from the sale of goods and services and its revenue is not economically dependent on non-commercial sources.
  • The Entity has been negatively impacted by the economic conditions created by Covid-19 and was financially viable prior to current economic environment
  • Your business was financially stable and viable prior to the current economic situation
  • The financing will be used solely to support operational cashflow requirements
  • Sole Proprietorships are not eligible for this program

The member must NOT be an:

  • Entity whose principal activities include the manufacturing, sale, distribution of arms, armaments, ammunition and/or related products.
  • Entity that promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
  • Entitity that operate any form of sexually exploitive business.
  • Entity operating rent-to-own firms, pay day loan or other similar quasi-financial institutions
  • For more details on the program, eligibility and application process, business members can contact their Alterna Account Manager.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides eligible employers that have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue to receive a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.

For detailed information about the program, eligibility, and how to apply, refer to the Government of Canada’s site.


Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for April, May and June, 2020 - with a one month extension pending.

On Monday, June 29, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the federal government will extend its flagship rent-relief program for entrepreneurs by a month, as the original three-month eligibility window comes to a close on July 1.

Changes to be announced the week of July 6. More to come. 

For detailed information about the program, eligibility, and how to apply, refer to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation site.

Microfinance:

Alterna’s Microfinance team is working with members to assist them in managing their businesses through these challenging times. Please contact your Account Manager for assistance. 

A micro-entrepreneur may also qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit of $500 per week up to 16 weeks.
 

Questions?

Please contact your Account Manager who is available to support you during these uncertain times.

If you don’t have a dedicated Account Manager, contact your branch or the Contact Centre to be referred.

The Contact Centre is available 7 days a week and can be reached at 1-877-560-0100

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm


For businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 but do not meet the criteria for Government Access to Credit programs, please contact your Account Manager or Business Banker to see how else we may be able to help.

Additional resources and support for businesses include:




*All Applicants are subject to Alterna Savings’ lending criteria.