Small Business Loans
Affordable loans up to $10,000, plus free business coaching, for emerging entrepreneurs who face barriers to financing to launch or grow their businesses.
Our loan program helps early-stage entrepreneurs who have viable business plans, but don’t qualify for financing through banks or other business lending programs.
Common barriers to funding entrepreneurs face include:
- Status in Canada
- Poor, limited or no credit history
We consider an individual’s financial situation, need, skills, motivation and drive to succeed, as well as their capacity to manage loan payments.
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
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.
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
***We are temporarily not accepting applications at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.***
Business Loans FAQ
Who is eligible for your loans?
Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents or Convention Refugees/Protected persons with Notice of Decisions who are at least 18 years old and legally able to work in Canada
Residents of Ontario
Individuals with limited or not-so-great credit who are unable to qualify for a loan from financial institutions or other lenders (We will assess this on an individual basis, considering your income, debt and other factors.)
Individuals who are up-to-date and not owing taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency, child support to the Family Responsibility Office, or able to provide proof of ongoing payments for at least three (3) consecutive months
Individuals who are not in active consumer proposal or bankruptcy, or who have been discharged for at least six (6) months
How much can I borrow?
For a small business loan, you can apply for up to a maximum of $10,000*.
*The final approved loan amount is determined by the Loan Review Committee.
Are there other fees?
- There is a one-time administrative fee of 5% added to the approved loan amount at the time of disbursal e.g. $250 on a $5,000 approved loan. This amount can be paid upfront or included as part of the loan and repaid monthly.
- Approved clients will be required to open an account with our banking partner, Alterna Savings, and pay a one-time membership fee of $15. This amount will be returned to the client when they close the account.
- There is also a monthly bank account charge which will depend on the type of account opened.
- A Non-sufficient Funds (NSF) fee may be charged when you do not have insufficient funds to cover your loan payment on or before the due date.
How much is your interest?
Do you offer grants?
No, however you may find information on grants at https://www.canada.ca/en/government/grants-funding.
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?
- Proof of income, e.g. copy of pay stub
- Credit report and score from Equifax
- Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency
- Written Business Plan and Cash Flow Projections
- Business registration, if registered
- Two pieces of valid photo IDs (e.g. Driver’s Licence, Passport or Immigration Documents)-Health Card is not a valid ID
- Proof of residence, e.g. utility bill, bank statement etc.
*Please contact us if you have difficulty submitting any of the above documents.
*If you don’t have a written business plan, we provide business training and 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 to ACCESS’s values and mission
• 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.
Are there restrictions on use of the loan?
The loan can only be used to pay for business expenses and not outstanding personal or business debt.
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 history and scores.