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Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)

On Monday, February 1, 2021, the Canadian government will be launching a new relief program for businesses, called the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP).

The program aims to support those in the hardest hit businesses – including those in sectors like tourism and hospitality, hotels, arts and entertainment.

It works by providing low-interest loans, over extended terms to help with cashflow in Canadian Businesses facing economic hardship via revenue decline, due to COVID.

Connect First Credit Union is dedicated to supporting our members through this challenging times.

If you feel your business would benefit from this program, reach out to your account manager, or email us at HASCAPinquiries@connectfirstcu.com.


  • The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) is a federally sponsored program designed to provide liquidity support to Canadian businesses facing economic hardship due to a demonstrated revenue decline as a result of the economic environment created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    HASCAP will be open for applications until June 30, 2021.

  • The Canadian Government has set the parameters of which sectors are considered highly affected for this program. You can check the HASCAP Guarantee eligibility criteria here.

  • Businesses can only access the program through their primary financial institution, so if we are your businesses primary, we can help you with navigating HASCAP.

    There are some important things to note:

    • The pre-financing eligibility validation is based on the criteria established by the Government of Canada. We do not have the authority to grant exceptions.
    • Loans must meet our Standard Lending Processes, including but not limited to Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer requirements, as required by FINTRAC, regulatory requirements and our policies and procedures.

    To begin the application process, please book an appointment with your Account Manager. Before the meeting you can prepare by pulling together:

    • Your last 2 years of year-end financials, as well as current interim financials (matching the information provided for the CEWS/CERS programs).
    • Personal net worth statements and income tax returns for all owners.
    • A brief statement regarding the negative impacts of COVID-19 on your company’s liquidity, and
    • An understanding of:
      • What is the value of the loan you are seeking?
      • How long will you need the loan?
      • What repayment terms are you looking for?
  • HASCAP provides business with access to:

    • Term loans of a minimum of $25,000 up to a maximum amount of $1,000,000.
    • A fixed interest rate of 4%.
    • No upfront or ongoing fees and no prepayment penalty in the event of early payment of the loan.
    • 10-year maximum amortization with the option to have a 1-year interest only period. Using the interest only period does not increase the maximum amortization.
    • Security will consist of a General Security Agreement (GSA) ranking behind CFCU. No personal guarantees are required.
  • The loan is to be used exclusively to fund the operational cash flow needs of the business and ensure a degree of continuity of operations. Proceeds cannot be used for debt repayment, refinancing, shareholder distributions, or dividend payments.

  • To be eligible for the program, businesses

    • Must be a commercial enterprise with the intention of being able to cover its own operating costs, and debts, through the sales of goods and services.
    • Must have been financial stable and viable prior to the current economic environment (i.e. prior to March 1, 2020).
    • Need to be able to show a 50% revenue decline and received the wage (CEWS) or rent (CERS) subsidy to qualify OR
    • If a company has not received subsidy under the CEWS or CERS, but qualifies, then they must first apply and start receiving funds from CEWS or CERS in order to apply for HASCAP. OR
    • In very select situations when firms do not qualify for CEWS or CERS, at least 3 months of 50% year-over-year revenue declines must be demonstrated (and be a result of COVID-19)

    Businesses will be required to provide the CEWS or CERS attestation forms demonstrating required revenue decline [and proof of payment under the Program (via bank statements or cancelled cheques)] during the application process.

  • The following businesses are not eligible to apply:

    • Government organizations or bodies or businesses owned by a government organization or body.
    • Unions, charitable, religious or fraternal organizations or entities owned by such organizations.
    • Businesses owned by individuals holding federal political office.
    • Businesses whose principal activities include the manufacturing, sale, distribution of arms, armaments, ammunition and/or related products.
    • Businesses operating gaming/gambling operations, pawnshops, rent-to-own firms, pay day loan or other similar quasi-financial institutions.
    • Businesses that promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
    • Businesses that operate any form of sexually exploitive business.
    • Businesses that violate generally accepted standards of conduct with Canadian society.
  • Companies will have to demonstrate a 50% revenue decline under the wage (CEWS) or rent (CERS) subsidy application process to qualify. If a company has not applied for CEWS or CERS, but qualifies, then they must apply and start receiving funds from CEWS or CERS in order to apply for HASCAP. In very select situations when firms do not qualify for CEWS or CERS, at least 3 months of 50% year-over-year revenue declines must be demonstrated (and be a result of COVID-19).

    The following eligibility requirements must be met:

    • Existing member, in good standing, of Connect First Credit Union Ltd
    • Minimum equivalent risk rating to a S&P rating of CCC+ prior to March 1, 2020
    • Have experienced a minimum 50% revenue decline (for 3 separate months and within the 240 days prior to the loan application. The revenue decline is subject to approval through CEWS or CERS
    • Loans must meet CFCU’s standard approval process – including AML and Know your Member requirements
    • For Loan amounts of $25,000 - $250,000 the Business is to have an annual probability of default (or substantially equivalent risk metric) of 5% or less (pre-COVID-19 impact)
    • For loans of $250,001 - $1,000,000 the business is to have a DSCR coverage ratio of 1.10x
    1. If your business has received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), when you apply, make sure you have your Canada Revenue Agency attestation forms demonstrating a minimum 50% revenue decline, for at least 3 months, within the 8-month period prior to the date of your HASCAP Guarantee applications.
    2. If your business has not received CEWS or CERS and is eligible for it, you must apply for CEWS and/or CERS.
    3. If your business does not qualify for CEWS and CERS you must provide financial statements that reflect at least three months (which do not need to be consecutive) of monthly year-over-year revenue decrease of a minimum of 50% per month, within the 8-month period prior to the date of the HASCAP Guarantee application.

    *We will require this information to process your request.

  • The program becomes available from February 1, 2021 and an expiry date of June 30, 2021 or such other date that BDC advices the lender it has ceased to guarantee further eligible loans.

  • BDC will provide a 100% guarantee for the net loss on eligible loans.

  • It facilitates the due diligence to process your request for a HASCAP Guarantee. This is part of the program’s design.

  • The minimum 50% revenue decrease threshold was a policy decision taken by the Government of Canada to establish what "highly affected" is.

  • Yes. A business owner can apply for a loan under the HASCAP Guarantee for each legal entity they own, up to a maximum combined amount of $6.25 million (all legal entities combined). If a business has multiple locations, each location must be its own legal entity to qualify for an additional guaranteed loan.

Account managers are reaching out to members they feel would benefit from this program, but members can also reach out to their account manager, or to