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Support for small and medium businesses and the non-profit and charitable sector 

Alterna Bank is here for you and committed to supporting small, medium, non-profit and charitable sector businesses (SMEs) through the COVID-19 pandemic. As the engine that drives the Canadian economy, the viability of these businesses is paramount to Canada’s economic success. We’re here to help.

Alterna Bank is working with the Government of Canada, EDC and BDC to offer these programs to its clients shortly.  See below to start the process for the CEBA program. Information on how to apply for the BCAP program will be posted once the program details are available.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA):

The CEBA program, once available, will be available and delivered directly by Alterna Bank.

​CEBA has been extended to October 31, 2020, making the program accessible longer to Canadians. If you have already applied for a CEBA loan and have questions, please contact the new CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201 for a status of your application. The Call Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm EST. 

  • Interest rate at 0% until December 31, 2022.
  • No minimum monthly principal payments until December 31, 2022.
  • Loan forgiveness up to 25% of the initial loan amount, to a maximum of $10,000, provided balance is fully paid on or before December 31, 2022.
  • If the loan cannot be repaid by December 31, 20‍22, it can be converted into a 3‑year term loan at an interest rate of 5% per annum.

For additional information, visit the Government of Canada website.

    Ready to start the process?

    1.   Log in to online banking
    2.   Select 'Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA)' under Account Services
    3.   Complete and submit the form

    Not signed up for online banking? Contact 1.866.560.0120 and we can get you started. 

     We will review and respond to you as soon as program details are made available.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

      ​Is there a deadline for completing an application at my primary financial institution and for uploading supporting documents?

      • You must complete the CEBA application at your primary financial institution by latest October 31st, 2020.
      • After completing the application with your financial institution, you must upload supporting documentation.
      • It is recommended that you provide your supporting documents through the application-demande.ceba-cuec.ca site as soon as you are directed to do so by your financial institution.
      • Supporting documentation is a critical part of the application processes and delays in providing this information can result in a delay in the pre-funding eligibility validation and funding process.

      Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP):

      The BCAP includes the following programs for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs):

      • Co-Lending Program for SMEs: BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program
      • Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.

      Details are still being finalized and information on how to apply will be updated shortly. We appreciate your patience.

      EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee:

      As part of the federal government’s new $65 billion Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), Alterna Savings and Export Development Canada (EDC) are partnering to provide financing to SMEs impacted by COVID-19.

      • The EDC BCAP Guarantee provides businesses with up to $6.25 million in credit to cover operational costs like payroll and rent.
      • Proceeds from the BCAP-supported loan cannot be used to repay or refinance existing debt (further restrictions apply to other non-operational costs).
      • Export sales are not required to qualify for the program.
      • EDC fees related to this guarantee will be deferred for the first six months, giving some short-term relief to your business.
      • EDC will provide a guarantee to Alterna Savings on 80% of the value of your loan. By sharing risk with EDC, we can help your company access the financing it needs.
      • The loan guarantee is to Alterna, not your business, so you remain responsible for the full value of the loan.

      To learn more about the EDC Business Credit Availability Program, please contact your Alterna Account Manager.

      Frequently Asked Questions:

      ​What is the EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee?

      The EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee is an EDC-guaranteed business loan to help Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19. Eligible applicants can access up to $6.25 million CAD in short-term liquidity to cover expenses which are critical to business continuity such as rent, payroll and other operational costs.

      The EDC Program features:

      • Fixed 80% EDC guarantee for 1 year, with potential to renew for another 1 year.
      • Loan is repayable in full on the 12-month anniversary.
      • EDC guarantee fee of 1.8% on the authorized loan amount.
      • 6-month EDC Guarantee fee payment deferral.

      For more details on the program, eligibility and application process, business members can contact their Alterna Account Manager.

      ​Is the EDC BCAP Guarantee only available to export-oriented businesses?

      No. The EDC BCAP Guarantee will also be available to non-export, domestic businesses.

      ​What is the eligibility criteria?

      To qualify for an EDC BCAP, the member must:

      Apply for a new cash flow term loan up to $6.25million CAD to finance short-term operations in response to COVID-19.

      The member must NOT be an:

      • Entity whose principal activities include the manufacturing, sale, distribution of arms, armaments, ammunition and/or related products.
      • Entity that promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
      • Entitity that operate any form of sexually exploitive business.
      • Entity operating rent-to-own firms, pay day loan or other similar quasi-financial institutions

      For more details on the program, eligibility and application process, business members can contact their Alterna Account Manager.

      Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

      The Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides eligible employers that have experienced an eligible reduction in revenue to receive a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.

      For detailed information about the program, eligibility, and how to apply, refer to the Government of Canada’s site.

      Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

      The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June, 2020.

      For detailed information about the program, eligibility, and how to apply, refer to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation site.


      Alterna Microfinance team is working with members to assist them in managing their businesses through these challenging times. Please contact your Account Manager for assistance.

      A micro-entrepreneur may also qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit of $500 per week up to 16 weeks. 


      Please contact your Account Manager who is available to support you during these uncertain times.

      If you don’t have a dedicated Account Manager, contact your branch or the Contact Centre to be referred.

      The Contact Centre is available 7 days a week and can be reached at 1-844-843-8448.

      • Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
      • Saturday & Sunday: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

      For businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 but do not meet the criteria for Government Access to Credit programs, please contact your Account Manager or Business Banker to see how else we may be able to help.

      Additional resources and support for businesses include:


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