Small businesses country-wide just got good news with the expansion of the Canada Small Business Financing Program. Announced on Jan. 22, the expansion will allow more businesses to apply for loans to buy land and improvements to buildings.
“I think anything that can help small businesses to grow and expand is a good thing,” said Pat Tenney, executive director for the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce. “It covers a wide spectrum of what the loans can be used for and all of them kind of relating to what would help to make a business grow and be successful.”
At present, small businesses that gross $5 million per year or less are eligible but after the changes are made this number will be doubled to $10 million. The maximum loan amount of $500,000 will also be doubled for people looking to buy real property, bringing the amount to $1 million.
Small businesses have a harder time getting loans for a number of reasons – having less credit history, fewer assets for collateral and more “volatile” sales and earnings among them. Because of this, the federal government announced the changes to the Canada Small Business Financing Program, allowing more small businesses to apply for loans and access them more easily.
Because Tenney feels Lloydminster is an enterprising community, she sees these changes as a positive step.
“I think that Lloydminster is known as an entrepreneurial city. So there are lots of small businesses and entrepreneurs that begin here in Lloydminster and grow and develop businesses that feed our economy,” she said.
“I think for a community like Lloydminster where we have those entrepreneurs and small businesses, it’s just another opportunity for them to be able to get started and to expand their businesses.”
The expansion will happen after the supporting legislation is passed and seeks to help new businesses get off the ground and aid existing ones make improvements and grow. It will also provide loans to companies that would otherwise be ineligible, all of this in turn creating jobs and helping the economy.