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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.

All applicants have until June 30, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.

CEBA requirements and deadlines have changed:

  • As of December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses will increase from $40,000 to $60,000.
  • Applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 in financing.
  • All applicants have until June 30, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.

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. 

Program Overview:

  • This $55 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.
  • Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent (up to a maximum of $20,000).
  • As of October 26, 2020, eligibility for CEBA expanded by removing the previous March 1, 2020 condition for having an active business chequing/operating account. With this removal, eligible businesses can now apply after opening a business chequing/operating account with their primary financial institution.
  • As of December 4, 2020 approved CEBA applicants can now receive a $60,000 loan. CEBA applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply the CEBA expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 of financing.
  • Interest rate at 0% until December 31, 2022.
  • No minimum monthly principal payments until 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. 

      Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee*:

      Co-Lending Program

      Up to $12.5 million for your operational cash flow requirements; available until or before June 2021 (extended).
      Learn more

      EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee

      Up to $6.25 million to cover rent, payroll and other operating costs caused by the current crisis; available until or before June 2021 (extended).

      Learn more

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

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

      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. Applications for claim period 10 (November 22, 2020, to December 19, 2020) are now open.

      The Federal Government has launched an updated calculator to help employers estimate what help they may receive from the next phase of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

      • The maximum top-up subsidy rate is 35%
      • The maximum subsidy amount for employees on leave with pay is $595
      • The base revenue drop comparison months for period 11 will be the same as period 10

      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.

      Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

      New Support for Commercial Tenants: Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), replaces the CECRA Program and would provide direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support directly to qualifying organizations.

      Qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits would receive a subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020.

      Lockdown Support

      Qualifying organizations that have been significantly affected by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority would receive an additional 25% of rent support through the CERS.

      Combined with the other support received under the CERS, this means that hard hit businesses, non-profits, and charities could receive a rent subsidy of up to 90%.

      The CERS including the Lockdown Support would be available until June 2021.


      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

      For further information, click here. 

      *All Applicants are subject to Alterna Savings’ lending criteria.

      For further information, click here. 

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