To support small businesses that needed to change course because of the coronavirus, Vancity has rolled out its Unity Pivot Business Loan. Businesses changing direction to support the battle against the pandemic can tap into loans of up to $150,000, which will be interest free for the first six months with no payment needed over that original time frame, according to an announcement.
Vancity President and Chief Executive Officer Tamara Vrooman said, “Vancity’s relief programs for small businesses build on the supports already in place from the provincial and federal governments. When the country gets through the worst of this pandemic, small businesses will play a significant role in helping to drive our economic recovery.”
Vrooman continued, “Now is the time to support these businesses as they get creative and change course in efforts to meet the challenge of this pandemic head on.”
The business loan is available to companies that have been in existence for at least two years that were profitable prior to the coronavirus and require financing to support a shift in direction due to the pandemic.
It is one of two loan programs funded by the member deposits of Vancity with the Unity Term Deposit, which the co-operative says has reached its goal of $200 million as of rolling out on March 23.
The other program, the Unity Bridge Loan, is designed to help self-employed workers impacted by the coronavirus. Vancity has also decreased interest rates on credit cards to zero percent for those impacted by the coronavirus and has implemented a six-month loan deferral program.
In separate news, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) said that almost 5,000 lenders have approved 1.6 million loans coming out to $342.2 billion under its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The PPP is the $349 billion program of the U.S. government to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) pay employees amid the coronavirus crisis and keep layoffs to a minimum.