Nova Scotia Small Business Financing Program

Through an exclusive partnership with the provincial government and the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, credit unions can deliver better financial assistance to establish new business, grow existing business and empower entrepreneurs with the support they need to create employment for themselves and others.

Who can apply for a small business loan?
Residents of Nova Scotia who wish to start a small business and companies or co-operatives in the province who intend to grow their business.

Where is this program available?
This program is available exclusively through credit unions in Nova Scotia.

How do I apply?
Visit Credit Union Atlantic to apply today.

What will the credit union require from me?
Credit Union Atlantic will require a business plan that shows the viability of your idea. We will also require information regarding your net worth, credit history and other documents that are normally required when applying for a loan.

Does my past credit history count?
Credit history is an important piece of your identity. All financial institutions check credit histories when you apply for credit of any kind. The decision to grant a loan in this program will also involve other factors, so those with a less than perfect credit history are still eligible to apply.

Will I need to give personal security or guarantees to the credit union?
Yes. CUA will evaluate your loan request by following regular credit lending criteria. This will include an assessment of your personal net worth. If your application does not fit normal lending criteria, but the credit union feels your business has potential for success, the credit union can apply for a loan guarantee to offset their risk. The maximum amount of the loan guarantee in most cases will be 90 per cent of the loan value, up to $500,000.

How much can I borrow?
The maximum that can be borrowed is $500,000.

What kind of financing does this program cover?
The program can cover loans for working capital or lines of credit.

What type of business is eligible?
All types of business are eligible, except residential and commercial real estate, beverage rooms and taverns. Any venture of a questionable ethical or legal nature is ineligible. Each application is evaluated on a case by case basis and on the strength of the business plan and viability.

What are the terms of the loan?
The terms and conditions of the loan will be negotiated between you and your credit union. The maximum term under this program is ten years.

What is the interest rate?
The interest rate is negotiated between you and Credit Union Atlantic.

Is there a fee to access this program?
There is a one per cent administration fee on the total value of the loan. This one per cent is a guarantee fee that is payable by your credit union to the Provincial Department of Finance.

Are personal loans eligible?
No. The program only applies to business ventures.

Are there any other requirements under this program?
If there are any weaknesses in your business plan, the credit union may request that you have a business mentor as a condition of the loan. Our development agency, the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, will work with you to find a suitable mentor.

Is there support available if I need help putting my business plan and application together?
Yes. The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, a development agency, has a technical assistance division that can assist you with your business plan, incorporation, business analysis etc.


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