Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP Loan Guide)

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As of February 1st, 2021 The Canadian government has been offering businesses heavily affected by Covid-19 access to low-interest loans ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000 for operational cash flow requirements under the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP Loan Program). These funds are backed by The Government of Canada and guaranteed for 100% to your financial institution via the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

This article is designed to serve as a comprehensive resource on this government-backed loan program. It should be noted this is not an official government resource, any business owner interested in this program should do their own research, this article is for informational purposes only.

For Canada’s hardest-hit businesses in sectors including, tourism, hospitality and travel who are currently struggling to access financing, The Canadian government has launched the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (otherwise known as the HASCAP Loan).

The program is provided via the BDC as mandated by the government and provides guarantees of up to 100% to help finance operating costs.

What is the HASCAP Loan?

HASCAP Loans are low-interest, flexible term loans ranging from $25,000 to $1 million for small-to-medium sized businesses that have seen their revenue decline by 50% or more in 3 months within an 8 month time period, during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

HASCAP Loans Benefits

  • Guaranteed loans backed by the BDC up to $1 million for operational cash flow.
  • A low-interest rate of 4%
  • Repayment terms of up to 10 years
  • Up to a 12 month postponement period on principal payments upon start of the loan
  • Easily accessible via your primary Financial Institution

Businesses who are are unable to access HASCAP funding or are seeking additional financing, can check out Lending Loop for affordable business loans ranging from $1k to $500k. Apply via their application here today.

Who can apply for the HASCAP loan?

If you are a Canadian business that needs additional cash flow to cover day-to-day business operating costs, you could potentially be eligible for the HASCAP loan guarantee through your Financial Institution. To qualify your business must;

  • Be based in Canada
  • Have been financially stable and viable prior to Covid-19
  • Have received payments either from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Program or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) Program and demonstrated a minimum of 50% revenue decline for at least 3 months within an 8 month period prior to applying for a HASCAP Loan guarantee application.
  • If your business has not received CERS, and or CEWS, but otherwise meets HASCAP Loan eligibility criteria, you will need to provide 3 months of financial statements that show a year-over-year revenue decline of at least 50% within an 8-month period prior to the date of your HASCAP loan guarantee application.
  • The loan will be used to continue or resume operations.
  • The loan cannot be used to pay or refinance existing debts.
  • Minimum risk ratings will apply, varying by the size of the new loan.
  • You can apply for a loan under the HASCAP Guarantee for each legal entity you own, up to a maximum combined amount of $6.25 million (all legal entities combined).
  • Other conditions may also apply.

The loan cannot be used to pay or refinance existing debts, and if applying under multiple entities, the maximum you can access is a combined $6.25 million.

What to do if you’re not eligible for a HASCAP Loan?

If you are not eligible for cash flow financing via the programs provided to your business by The Government of Canada and BDC, then you may want to consider other sources of small business funding.

We suggest checking out Lending Loop, for affordable small business loans with flexible repayment terms and low-interest rates.

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How does the HASCAP loan work?

The Government of Canada has mandated the BDC to provide a guarantee to your financial institution for 100% of the total loan value for amounts ranging from $25,000 to $1 million. Meaning you can work with your bank to access the additional cash you need to cover your business’s operating costs.

These loans are low-interest, with a rate of 4% and come with repayment terms of up to 10 years, and can include a postponement period on principal payments of up to 12 months at the start of the loan period.

How to apply for the HASCAP loan?

To apply for the HASCAP loan you must contact your primary financial institution you currently bank with to determine whether you are eligible and access the respective application.

HASCAP Application Process Example
$100,000 HASCAP Loan Application Example

Businesses banking with the following list of Financial Institutions are now able to access the program. This list is not exhaustive, for those seeking a comprehensive up-to-date list, of financial institutions providing the HASCAP Loan Guarantee please defer to this resource.

Financial institutions participating in the HASCAP loan guarantee


CIBC Bank Logo

Status: Accepting Applications

As one of Canada’s top 5 largest banks CIBC was named as one of the first providers of the new HASCAP loan mandated by The Government of Canada and guaranteed via the BDC.

Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Group Head, Personal and Business Banking, mentioned “We’re here and ready to continue our support for Canadian entrepreneurs through financial impacts from the pandemic,”…”This additional loan program from the Government of Canada is another way to ensure a degree of continuity for hardworking small and medium-sized businesses across the country that have been hard hit by COVID-19. We’re committed to continuing to be there for our clients, including facilitating access to these key additional funds.” 

For more details on the HASCAP program and information on how to access it via CIBC, please visit the link below or schedule an appointment with your personal banker.


Bank of Montreal Logo

Status: Accepting Applications

As of February 4th, businesses banking with BMO will be able to access the Highly Affected Sector Credit Availability Program (HASCAP).

Co-Head, Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group, Nadim Hiriji had this to say about the launch “The importance of supporting the industries that have been hardest hit by COVID – like tourism, hotels, arts and culture, and the airline sector – cannot be understated. These sectors have a significant impact on our economy, and these relief measures will help to mitigate the financial headwinds they have faced”.

Christine Cooper, Co-Head, Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group backed up this statement by noting, “We continue to encourage our business clients to reach out to us to understand how we can support their needs. We want to help those operating in the industries hardest hit by the pandemic on their way back up,”.

For more details on the HASCAP program and information on how to access it via Bank of Montreal, please visit the link below.


Royal Bank Of Canada Logo

Status: Accepting Applications

As of February 5th, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has been accepting applications for The Government of Canada’s HASCAP Guarantee Program.

Greg Grice, Executive Vice-President, Business Financial Services, RBC said, “We know the coming months will continue to be hard for a lot of businesses across Canada and we remain committed to helping support them through these difficult times,”…. “HASCAP, combined with other relief and grant programs offered nationally and provincially, will go a long way towards helping some of Canada’s hardest hit businesses in their recovery.”

For more details on the HASCAP program and information on how to access it via RBC, please visit the link below.

Scotiabank HASCAP Loans

Status: Accepting Applications

As of February 1st, Scotiabank has been offering its support for the new Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) developed in partnership with the BDC.

Dan Rees, Group Head, Canadian Banking for Scotiabank mentioned “Scotiabank is proud to collaborate once again with the BDC and the Canadian government to make programs like HASCAP available to those businesses that have been most impacted by the pandemic”…”Scotiabank remains committed to supporting the economic recovery of Canadian businesses as we look to a future beyond this pandemic with confidence and optimism

For more details on the HASCAP program and information on how to access it via Scotiabank, please visit the link below.

TD Bank HASCAP Loans

TD Bank Logo

Status: Accepting Applications

HASCAP loan: TD Bank is one of the banks / financial institutions selected by the Government of Canada and the BDC to provide flexible, low-interest term loans to businesses deemed highly affected by the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.

This program is currently available at TD bank to small-to-medium-sized Canadian businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector whose primary financial institution is TD.

As of February 25th, TD Bank is continuing to accept applicants for the HASCAP loan program, reiterating their… “support to Canadian businesses that have been highly affected by and are facing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic” (TD Bank, Newswire).

Learn more about the program details and how to access it via TD bank below.

National Bank HASCAP Loans

National Bank Logo

Status: Accepting Applications

As one of Canada’s six largest banks, National Bank was selected by the Government of Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to provide low-cost financing under the highly affected sectors credit availability guarantee program.

This program is intended to support businesses in the tourism, art, hospitality, and travel sectors that have witnessed a significant revenue decline over the past 8 months as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To access the HASCAP Guarantee program via National Bank you will have to reach out to your account manager and request an appointment. You can do this via the form available on this page or the button below.

Other Financial Institutions & Credit Union’s HASCAP Loan Offering

Status: Determined by your primary Financial Institution

For a comprehensive list of financial institutions providing loans under the HASCAP Guarantee Program please see the link below.

This page is updated as frequently as possible to ensure you are provided the best resource on this financial service as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions on HASCAP

How much can I apply for under a HASCAP Loan?

HASCAP Loans are available in amounts ranging from CAD $25,000 to CAD $1 million. The amount provided to your business by your financial institution will be determined by your business’s current operating costs.

For business owners and entrepreneurs operating multiple legal entities, you are entitled to apply for a HASCAP loan for each entity that meets the program requirements, up to and not exceeding $6.25 million across all businesses owned.

What businesses are categorized as “Highly Affected” under HASCAP?

Currently businesses in the hospitality, arts and tourism sectors are categorized as highly affected under the HASCAP Loan Program.

With that being said, even if you do not meet the sector requirements, if you meet the other eligibility criteria there is still the potential you could be approved for financing under this program.

To learn more contact your primary financial institution.

Can I pay off or refinance an existing debt with a HASCAP Loan?

No. The HASCAP loan cannot be used to pay off or refinancing existing debt. It is only to be used to resume operations and manage day-to-day operational costs.

Am I eligible for a HASCAP Loan if I have not received CEWS or CERS?

While the HASCAP program is primarily intended for businesses that have already made use of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), and or, Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), if you otherwise meet the eligibility requirements for the HASCAP loan you may still be eligible to apply.

If you are a member of this group, you may be requested to provide financial statements for 3 months from the last 8 month period clearly denoting a revenue decrease of 50% or greater, prior to the date of your HASCAP application.

Do I need to repay a HASCAP Loan?

Yes the HASCAP loan needs to be repaid. This is a loan provided by your financial institution to your business, backed by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). It is not a grant.

The loan comes with a low interest rate of 4% and flexible repayment terms of up to 10 years.

Additionally, the HASCAP Guarantee offers a 12 month postponement period on principal repayments at the start of the loan to provide even greater flexibility for Canadian business owners.

Why was the HASCAP Loan Program established?

The HASCAP Loan Guarantee Program was created to support Canadian businesses deemed as highly-affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It provides financial support to small businesses in the tourism, hospitality and arts sector who are seeking financing to resume operations and support operational costs.

Why does this article on HASCAP Exist?

Many businesses across Canada continue to feel the effects of the Covid-19 crisis. The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program, otherwise known as HASCAP Guarantee, is aimed at providing businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector with the financing they need to remain open and cover day-to-day operational costs.

The government working via a mandate through the BDC offers a 100% guarantee to Financial Insitituions on the value of the loan on amounts ranging from $25,000 up to $1 million, on extended repayment terms, not exceeding 10 years.

“Whether they are operating at limited capacity, switching to online-only services, or suspending their operations entirely many businesses have been strongly affected”

Source, The Government of Canada “Minister Ng Announces launch of Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program. January 26, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario”

When researching the HASCAP Guarantee program, our team personally found it difficult to access the information we needed to determine who was eligible to access financing for a HASCAP Loan but we knew many business owners in the restaurant, travel, and tourism sectors could benefit from the program and funding.

While this is not an official government resource we do our best to cover the topic as comprehensively as possible and will often cite official resources we feel are incredibly helpful on the topic.

All business owners and entrepreneurs are in this together and we can all do our part to support the business community during this time of need.

Additional Resources & Links

Ryan Watkins

Ryan Watkins

Ryan is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Rise SMB. He began this site as a way to help small business owners better understand the financial services, loans, and software available to them.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto and has served in various management & executive roles within the financial services industry, including most recently as the Head of Growth for leading Canadian Business Lenders, Loop & Lending Loop.

Much of Ryan's work has focused on providing accessible capital and credit building services to Canadian small business owners and entrepreneurs. In his spare time, Ryan loves bouldering, backpacking and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee.

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