How Can I Get a Small Business Loan in Canada?

By Nadya JosifovLast Updated Jun 24, 2020 7:18:39 PM ET
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How Can I Get a Small Business Loan in Canada?

While running a small business can be rewarding, it isn’t always easy, especially starting out. Whether you’re having trouble making ends meet or want to expand your operations, a small business loan can help new businesses off the ground and old businesses reach their full potential.

If you own a small business in Canada and are looking for a business loan, you have multiple options. It’s worth looking at all of your choices before signing the paperwork on a loan, since if you shop around, you’re more likely to find the best loan program for your needs. These are the main options you should consider.

Talk to Your Bank

As a small business owner, chances are you’ve already established a relationship with a bank. If you’re already satisfied with your bank’s other services, it could be worth turning to them for a loan, particularly since you may be able to leverage your existing relationship with them to get a better deal on a small business loan. Banks like to keep current customers happy, and they may also take the assets in your accounts under consideration in putting a loan package together for you.

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Shop Around at Other Banks

That said, even if your bank is offering you a seemingly irresistible deal on a loan, you should still shop around at other banks and financial institutions to see what they have to offer as well. Banks are competitive, and chances are that other banks want your business. You may find that a different bank can cut a better deal.

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You may feel a certain sense of loyalty to your bank, or looking around may feel like too much hassle. Consider, however, that, you probably already shop around for everything from clothes to even toothbrushes. With that in mind, why wouldn’t you do the same for such a financially expensive choice?

Consider the Canada Small Business Financing Program

You should also consider the Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP). This initiative is designed to help small business owners with capital. For-profit companies in most business sectors can get help from the Canada Small Business Financing Program.

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Loans under this program can only be used for leased business property, improvement of land or buildings that you use for your business, purchasing or maintaining new or used equipment and government fees. You may even be able to use CSBFP loans to acquire an existing business.

Look at Special Loan Programs

Canada also offers an array of other loan programs geared toward different groups that may need extra help starting a business. If you're a woman who owns a small business, you have multiple options for special loans depending on what region of the country you’re in. These programs are for companies that have at least 50 percent ownership by women.

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First Nations, Inuit and Métis people who own small businesses have access to the Indigenous Services program, which offers grants to aboriginal citizens who need access to capital for small businesses. You can also find programs for budding entrepreneurs under the age of 40 and other groups.

Check Out Alternative Means of Financing

Traditional small business loan packages and government programs can serve most small businesses who need access to capital, but you may be better off pursuing other loan options as well. For instance, non-profit organizations known as community investment funds can help if you have trouble getting traditional financing through a bank or credit union.

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If you need a small amount of money, many financial institutions offer what are called microloans. These are smaller loans that have slightly different criteria for applying. You can also consider an angel investor. These are investors who are looking to help companies that they think are good investments, but it’s worth noting that an angel investor may want to take an active role in your operations. And of course, never forget that you can consider borrowing from friends or family.