Business Loans

Affordable loans up to $10,000 plus free business coaching to give you the tools for success.

At ACCESS, we are here to remove barriers for entrepreneurs who have viable business ideas through micro-loans, business training and coaching. We consider an individual’s financial situation, need, skills, motivation and drive to succeed.  


*ACCESS does not provide services in Quebec




You are 18 years or older


Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or Convention Refugee/Protected Person with a Notice of Decision


Resident of Ontario


Demonstrated barriers faced accessing a loan from banks and other lending sources


Not in a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, or has been discharged for at least 6 months


Up-to-date on taxes with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or child support to the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) or provide proof of ongoing payments for at least 3 consecutive months


Able to demonstrate the loan will be used for business purposes as outlined in their application, business plan and cash flow


Business loans cannot be used to pay off personal or past business debt




Proof of income, e.g. copy of pay stub


Credit report and score from Equifax

Visit Equifax.


Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency


Business Plan and Cash Flow Projections


Business registration, if registered


Two pieces of valid photo ID

E.g. Driver’s Licence, Passport, PR card, Ontario Photo ID; Note: Health Cards not accepted.


Proof of address

E.g. utility bill, bank statement, etc.




Bank Statements

Last three months from your personal chequing account and business account, if applicable.

Before applying, you must:

1. Update your written business plan and cash flow

2. Gather the required documents

3. Complete the application form and submit the required documents

After applying, a member of staff will:

1. Contact you to confirm receipt of your application and documents

2. After review, let you know if additional information is needed and the next steps

Business Loans FAQ

Who is eligible for your loans?
  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident or convention refugee/protected person, at least 18 years old, legally able to work in Canada and resident of the Greater Toronto Area or Hamilton.
  • Demonstrate financial need or inability to get a loan from a bank (We will assess this on an individual basis, considering your income, debt and other factors.)
  • Be up-to-date with, and not owing taxes to Canada Revenue Agency or child support to the Family Responsibility Office, or provide proof of ongoing payments for at least three consecutive months
  • Not be in a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, or discharged for less than six months
How much can I borrow?

For a small business loan, you can borrow up to a maximum of $5,000. If you need additional funding after paying off the first loan in good standing, you can apply for up to $10,000.

For a foreign credential recognition loan, you can borrow up to $15,000 for career-related expenses.

Are there other fees?

There is a one-time administrative fee of 5% added to business loans at the time of disbursal. All clients will need to open an Alterna Savings account to receive the funds, which also has a small fee to open ($15), similar to most bank accounts.

You may be charged additional fees for paying your loan late.

How much is your interest?

Our interest rates are prime plus 1.25% for business loans.

(Prime is the standard rate which banks charge, which can change and affect the overall interest rate.)


Do you offer grants?

No, however you may find information on grants at

How long do I have to pay back the loan?

For a business loan, you have up to three years to repay.

Our loans are open, which means you can pay them back early without additional fees or interest. Interest will be calculated up to the time you decide to pay off the loan if it’s before the given term.

What documents do you require?

For business loans:
• Proof of income, e.g. copy of pay stub
• Credit report and score from Equifax or TransUnion
• Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency
• Business Plan and Cash Flow Projections
• Business registration, if registered
• Two pieces of valid photo ID (e.g. Driver’s Licence, Passport or Immigration Documents)
• Proof of residence, .e.g. utility bill, bank statement etc.
• Resume
*Please contact us if you have difficulty submitting any of the above documents.
If you don’t have a complete business plan, we provide business coaching for eligible applicants to help you refine your business plan.

What types of businesses do you fund?

We strive to support a wide variety of business ideas, however, there are a few instances where we will not be able to approve your application.
Any business deemed to be harmful in any way will be ineligible. This includes (but is not limited to) businesses that:
• Engage in illegal activities
• Violate The Canadian Human Rights Act and/or The Ontario Human Rights Code
• Are contrary ACCESS Community Capital Fund’s values and reputation
• Are prohibited by our financial partners
As our aim is to help small entrepreneurs, we don’t fund operations owned by large companies, such as franchises and multi-level-marketing businesses.
If you’d like to confirm if your business will be accepted before you apply, please call us to discuss your idea or plan.

How can an ACCESS loan improve my credit?

Once a loan is approved, we work with our banking partner, Alterna Savings, to disburse the funds. The client will open a bank account with Alterna through which the loan will be repaid. The loan payment activity is reported by Alterna to Equifax on a regular basis until the loan is fully paid off. If the loan is kept in good standing, along with the other financial obligations the client has, it will help improve their overall credit and score.