Latest Canadian Economic Update Announces Extension of HASCAP Program

On December 14, 2021, the Canadian Government provided the Economic and Fiscal Update 2021. This update was designed to “report of the nation’s finances and updates Canadians on the government’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19, support Canadians and Canadian businesses, and ensure a strong recovery for everyone,” according to the news release circulated by the Ministry of Finance and Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

This same news release noted, “The report shows that the federal government’s final deficit for 2020-21 is lower than projected in Budget 2021, due to an increase in government revenues from improved economic performance and somewhat lower-than-expected spending on COVID-19-related programs.”

Thus, it is no surprise that the government extended the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) once again and the new HASCAP deadline is set for March 31, 2022.

The full report indicated that more than 11,500 loans had been issued, representing almost $2.7B as of October 31, 2001. Based on information published on the BDC website using data from September 30, they had reported that 10,602 cumulative loans had been issued, at just under CAD$2.5B in cumulative loan value.

Data from the BDC

Based on the owner of this site’s personal experience with applying for a HASCAP loan, the process is cumbersome and the financial institutions have not made the funds easy to access. In fact, through our experience, we began the process more than 8 months ago and we are still working through the details with our financial institution. As of the time of writing, we are still awaiting a response from our financial institution as to whether we meet the criteria. This is after considerable diligence, including furnishing personal net-worth statements along with documents asking for personal guarantees, two items that we Canadians had been assured by the government that would not be required for those of us hit hard from the pandemic.

As an effort to provide emergency assistance to those companies truly in need, where the policy may be willing, the execution on behalf of Canada’s banks has fallen well short in distributing the funds in need.

If you are in need of alternative small business financing while awaiting word on your eligibility for a HASCAP loan, consider these alternatives.

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