Could our question on the Canadian government small business loan (commonly called ‘ The SBL ‘) be any more simple? Is this specialized Canadian lending program right for your company? If you are a Canadian business with fewer than 5 Million dollars in actual or projected revenue we categorically think it is – as always though we’ll let clients decide for themselves!
Business loan financing in Canada vary greatly. Structures, documentation on the loan, and guarantees or collateral required vary widely, and we can assure you with certainly that’s an understatement!
The Canadian government, specifically the good folks at Industry Canada (they sure seem nice when they call us at least …?) sponsor this loan program . The technical name of the program is BIL/CSBF… but we’re never one to get too technical.
This type of financing in general serves the lower end of the Canadian business financing scene, and does at a great job of financing business in Canada who otherwise might not be able to qualify. And do you know what the difference is? The rates, terms and structures of this program, compared to almost all other type of financing are… are you ready? better!
What are some of the reasons then that we can say with assurance that this financing is of the best in Canada, whether you are a start up, a franchise, or a established company with sales and profits .
What most Canadian business owners and financial managers don’t immediately realize is that while everyone thinks of this as a government loan the program is actually run on a daily business by Canada’s chartered banks. The challenge in many cases that we’ve seen with clients is they are unable to find a banker as bullish and excited about the program as we are. (We guess filling out forms is somehow not appealing to all …?)
Why the program should appeal to banks more, in our opinion, is simply the fact that if a loan is unable to be repaid the government reimburses the bank for 90% of your firm’s loan. So banks are therefore only partially at risk, and that risk is often taken care of nicely by a combination of your 25% personal guarantee, as well as security over the assets financed.
That’s why we are always surprised that the appetite for this type of financing is rarely as large as we think it should be. The program is in place all the time, and is never under any form of suspension, as has happened in the U.S. on occasion.
So why don’t more businesses use the program. We can only offer up a few basic reasons – they don’t know about it, they find filling out forms cumbersome (we’ll fill out a form all day to get the 350,000$ that is in fact the loan maximum!!) or they don’t qualify.
But are those qualifications stringent? Hardly – Business owners need only to have a reasonable personal credit history, they must be willing to guarantee 25% of the loan, and the financing capabilities of the loan are limited to equipment, leasehold and real estate.
We’re not telling you to get a government small business loan… we’re simply asking you to consider it as one solid mechanism for obtaining the financing you need when other alternatives might not be available .
7441 of your competitors and peers in Canada used the program last year. Maybe you should?
Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor on why SBL financing just might be right for your firm.