What is the deadline for applying for a business loan?
Express Loans: There is a continuous intake for our Small Business Express Loans ($2,500 – $7,500).
Small Business Loans over $7,500, applications must be received before noon on the second Wednesday of the month to allow time to review and prepare for the monthly Board meeting.
We encourage you to meet with our Business & Lending Advisor to discuss your financing requirements and documentation.
What is the maximum loan available?
The maximum loan amount per business is $250,000.00 through Grand Erie Business Centre. Additional funding is available on an individual basis through programs such as WORC and SOFFI.
What is the interest rate?
Our interest rates range start at prime + 2%, and move upward from there. The rate is calculated based on credit history, security and soundness of the business and management.
Do I need to be turned down by a bank to qualify for a loan?
No. Grand Erie Business Centre encourages all applicants to meet with their existing financial institution first. Many of our clients want additional support, not just a loan, and we are here to assist with business advisory services.
Additionally, it’s not always possible to get 100% funding from one lender. We often partner with banks, credit unions and other non-traditional lenders to put together the best financing solution for our clients.
What kind of advisory services do you offer?
We offer a wide variety of programs and services to support community economic development and business growth.
Advisory services can be generally characterized into the following categories:
- Pre-business planning
- Business start-up/launch
- Existing business facing challenges/needing to overcome hurdles
- Existing business exploring new opportunities for growth
Does Grand Erie Business Centre charge for advisory services?
No. All advisory services we offer are confidential and free of charge.
Where can I get a business plan template?
There are many business plan templates available. Below is a sample of some that are available free of charge. You can meet with our Business & Lending Adviser for some tips on writing your business plan, or you can visit any of these websites for business plan templates that will work best for your needs:
Will you use my company name in your advertising?
We respect the privacy of our clients and all clients that that come to us for financing and/or business advising. We only name clients that wish to participate in our marketing campaigns. There is no obligation to participate.
How is Grand Erie Business Centre funded?
We were established in 1989 by the Government of Canada and are one of 269 Community Futures Development Corporations across the country.
Community Futures is a not-for-profit corporation with a volunteer Board of Directors. Grand Erie Business Centre currently receives 100% of our operational funding from FedDev Ontario (the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario).
Do you offer lines of credit or personal loans?
We do not offer lines of credit or personal loans.
Do you offer workshops?
We offer workshops throughout the year. Check our website and/or our Facebook page for the most current information.
What does Grand Erie Business Centre look for in a loan application?
When the Grand Erie Business Centre and volunteer Board of Directors assess the merits of your loan application, we use banking industry guidelines “The Five C’s of Lending.”
Character is a combination of your credit history, your training and work history, and any proven experience you have at running a business.
Capacity refers to your ability to take on and repay debt based on the earning potential and cash flow of the business. We look at your business plan very carefully to determine the strength and marketability of your ideas well as the viability of the business. We also want to make sure there will be adequate cash flow, to ensure that you can realistically afford the loan. If you are asking for a loan for an existing business, we’ll look carefully at your historical financial statements. If you are starting a new business, we’ll review projected financial statements as well as data like industry averages.
When assessing a loan request, we take great care to understand the market and conditions in which you are planning to operate your business. Is the industry mature, or emerging? What are the current political, environmental, social, and technological issues affecting the industry? To gain insight, we look at data from industry associations and government and regulatory bodies, as well as your own marketing plan research.
Capital includes your personal and corporate net worth, the equity you have invested in the business and your ability to access other financial reserves. We want to make sure you have adequate capital to grow your business and to weather any unexpected emergencies or setbacks.
While we place increased focus on the management team, business capacity, market conditions and cash flow, we still lend money responsibly, which means taking adequate security.
Are you the government?
No. Grand Erie Business Centre is supported by the Community Futures Program which is a Government of Canada initiative and supports 61 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) in Ontario.
Are you Haldimand County?
We are proud to be located in Haldimand County and consider them to be a valued partner, however, we are not Haldimand County.
Do you offer grants?
No, any funds disbursed are loans and are repayable.
I have poor credit history, have declared bankruptcy or have put together a consumer proposal. Can I still qualify for a loan?
Yes. Credit history is just one element of what we assess when reviewing your loan application. We will evaluate your application as a whole to determine if you are a good candidate for a loan. Please see above for a full description of what we look for in a loan application.
What is a business number (BN)?
A Business Number (BN) is an identifier for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The Business Number (BN), is issued for all accounts a business has with the Federal Government.
These include the following:
- Corporation ID
You can register for your Business Number and/or find out more information by visiting https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/registering-your-business/register.html or by calling 1-800-959-5525.
What is a business identification number (BIN)?
A Business Identification Number (BIN) is an identifier for Service Ontario regarding the registration of a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership.
The Business Identification Number (BIN), is issued when registering Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership in the Province of Ontario. Note this is often confused with the BN.
To Register a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership: