Marijuana industries in Canada are among the beneficiaries set to gain from the government’s $40 billion credit program, as the country battles the Coronavirus global pandemic. The credit will be available through the Business Development Bank of Canada.
Speaking to the Canadian Press during an interview on Sunday, Business Development Bank of Canada CEO Michael Denham revealed the state credit program would be available to all businesses.
“Any legal business is eligible to be part of the program—that was what I think some industry groups were concerned about. That was clarified and we’re going to formally announce it on Monday,” Denham said from Montreal.
Applicants to access the program through their banks
Denham reiterated that individual business applicants would access the program through their bank accounts. The Business Development Bank is a state agency commanding a $35-billion loan portfolio. The government has also injected into the bank the $40-billion credit program for hard-hit businesses during the COVID-19 scourge.
The Development Bank, with nearly 60,000 customers, has equally made other changes because of the exceptional impact of the Coronavirus disease. Some of the steps the bank has taken include lowering interest rates, waiving fees, and increasing the amount of risk it takes with its loans.
Denham stated that the changes were meant to make it easy and accessible for customers to approach the BDC as a lender. The cannabis industry in Canada is among the hard-hit businesses, which have been pushing for deferment of their existing loan obligations. At the same time, they’re advocating for capitation to help them sail through the Coronavirus storm. Even before the pandemic storm, the industry has been struggling and some of its stores already closed. However, online sales are taking place.
Restaurant sector equally hit
In addition to the cannabis sector, the restaurant industry is suffering a similar fate. Following orders by government and health authorities in the wake of the pandemic, many outlets remain closed to prevent the spread of the killer disease. According to a recent survey, nearly one out of ten restaurants is already closed. It’s also expected that one out of five will close if the conditions fail to improve soon.
With struggling economies, many businesses have submitted applications to the development bank, especially through its online financing portal. This has happened within a short time since the outbreak of the COVID-19.
“That’s indicative of the amount of demand and volume we need to deal with. We’re organizing ourselves to be able to deal with that level of volume, because of the intensity of the crisis,” Denham said. The CEO also urged businesses to “understand programs,” consult their banks, and utilize what is right for them.
Beginning today (Monday, April 06, 2020), the DBC will begin processing applications for state relief benefits. Those who have lost jobs due to the scourge can also start submitting applications for emergency pay. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that those who use direct deposit would start receiving $2000 per month within five days.