In its recent Fall Economic Statement, the federal government announced plans to provide additional financial support for businesses in sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, including tourism, hospitality, arts and entertainment.
HIGHLY AFFECTED SECTORS CREDIT AVAILABILITY PROGRAM
Through the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), eligible businesses would be able to access loans of up to $1 million with low interest rates and terms up to 10 years. The loans would be offered by banks and other financial institutions and 100 per cent guaranteed by the federal government. Rates for HASCAP will be lower than those offered with the Business Credit Availability Program as well as typical market rates for these sectors such as tourism, hospitality, arts and entertainment.
REGIONAL RELIEF AND RECOVERY FUND
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund provides interest-free, partially forgivable loans to small and mid-sized businesses facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A $500 million top-up to RRRF has been proposed, to be distributed by Regional Development Agencies and the Community Futures Network of Canada. The top-up would bring the total RRRF funding to $2 billion. At least 25 per cent of the fund would be earmarked for local tourism businesses.
ARTS AND LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Recognizing that organizations in arts and live entertainment are among the first to shut down and last to resume normal operations due to COVID-19 restrictions, the federal government has proposed to provide $181.5 million to the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. Funding would support the production of COVID-19-safe live and digital events and associated employment opportunities.
Visit this webpage on the official Government of Canada website for complete details of the Fall Economic Statement.