(Feb. 13/14) CRFA supports the federal government’s changes to the Canada Small Business Financing (CSBF) program because they should increase our members’ access to loans from financial institutions. Effective April 1, 2014, these changes will make it easier for banks to administer these loans and allow them to charge conventional lending fees.

Current issues with the program
The CSBF program is designed to provide entrepreneurs with access to loans to start a business or to make leasehold improvements to their business when traditional loans are not available to them. However, the average bank only makes one CSBF loan per year. Many financial institutions are not interested in better understanding the program, promoting it or investing in it because it is administratively complex and separate from their regular loan program.

CRFA action

CRFA shared our concerns with officials over a two-year period and indicated that industry will support a modest increase in fees for greater loan access. CRFA also recommended non-regulatory changes to educate small businesses about the program and promote its use in the financial services sector. It is now time for financial institutions to make this program available to entrepreneurs in the restaurant industry.

Click here to see the changes to the CSBF regulations.

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