The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday, April 8, edition that the Liberal government is putting the finishing touches on a plan to offer small businesses interest-free loans.
The Globe's triple bylined item reports that government officials are working with bankers and lawyers to finalize details on an interest-free loan program for small businesses, guaranteed by $25-billion in government funds. Canada's largest banks and credit unions are aiming to open the loan program to applications on Thursday, although the timing is still uncertain.
Federal officials are trying to shorten the time needed to verify applications for those loans to two days.
As recently as Sunday, the government wanted a waiting period of up to five days before funds are released to approved small businesses, but banks pushed for a faster turnaround. The waiting period is intended to give the government time to verify clients, prevent fraud and manage what is expected to be a large number of applications, even as surveys show some small businesses are wary of taking on more debt. Small businesses that had payrolls of $50,000 to $1-million in 2019 will be able to apply for loans of up to $40,000 and pay no interest until the end of 2022.
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