SBL? It’s the Canadian Small Business Financing Program and is sponsored by Industry Canada which is an independent part of the Canadian government. It is in our opinion the best program from start up, small, and medium sized businesses in Canada. We’re going to tell you why, and cover off 6 things you may not know about the program, providing clarification on each item.
Is it a financial assistance program? Not really, but its certainly a great financing , at solid rates, terms, and even structures that many much larger corporations could not achieve . We love providing our clients with an overview of 6 different elements of the program.
Let’s cover off the six key areas that continually come in the form of questions from Canadian business owners and financial managers. What are those areas of concern? They’re as follows: eligibility, loan size, terms, interest rates and fees, pre payment, and finally, what assets can be financed!
Let’s dig in. Eligibility. That’s a good place to start, i.e., do you qualify? The SBL small business financing program (also called BIL / CSBF) is open to incorporated or unincorporated businesses in Canada with less than 5 million dollars in actual or project sales. The program covers off 90% of any item you wish to finance based on what is financeable under the program. To qualify you should be a Canadian citizen as an owner of the business, and, in general you should ensure you have a decent personal credit history. Certain credit scores at the credit bureau will allow you to determine if you are acceptable in this area. Any time of business, service or asset based can come under this government loan program.
Loan size… ie how much can we get? That’s the typical question we get from clients. The program actually goes to$ 500,000.00 but that’s for real estate only, all other assets and leaseholds financed under the program cap out at a loan amount of 350,000.00$.
What terms are available under the program? Typically most transactions are done on a 5 year fixed term basis, although in a lot of circumstances a 7 year repayment term can be requested. That 7 year payment term will definitely lower your monthly payment and make cash flow work better for you when you need it.
Many clients assume because the SBL small business financing program often finances start ups and weaker companies in terms of assets and historical performance that rates are high for the loan. You couldn’t be more incorrect as rates are at 3% over prime, and the one time processing fee of 2% can often be also financed as part of the loan.
99% of financing in Canada for items such as leases or term loans, etc come with no pre payment options .Again, here our program shines, as pre payment can be made at anytime, without, you guess it , any penalties . It can’t get any better.
If there is one item of confusion constantly in our clients minds it’s the issue of what can be financing under and SBL loan. It is not a cash loan, and the only assets that can be financed are equpment, software, leaseholds, and real estate.
What do you think? Do you agree with us that this program is a solid one ?We certainly think so, and if you’re interested in more info seek and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can assist you to prepare a successful summary and application . It’s Canadian business financing with a spin on win/win!