Federal government launches loan program for Black-owned businesses

OTTAWA – The federal government is opening the doors to a loan program that will provide financing to Black-owned businesses that often face a steep hill to access capital.

The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund will provide loans of up to $250,000 for businesses that are majority Black-owned, or entrepreneurs for their startups or existing for-profit small businesses.

Social enterprises, partnerships and co-operative businesses are also eligible for the financing.

The government says applicants must have a business number, a business plan and financial statements, or project plans in the case of startups.

The Liberal government seeded the loan fund with $33.3 million, while the remainder of the $291.3 million program comes from a $130-million infusion from Business Development Bank of Canada, a Crown corporation, and $128 million split between the country’s biggest banks and two credit unions.

The Federation of African Canadian Economics will administer the loans, which will initially flow through BDC, and credit unions Alterna Savings and Vancity.

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