FAQ

? Is Impact a grant?

Impact is a repayable loan. Typical repayment terms are between 12 and 60 months, with low interest rates and no penalties for early repayment.

? What are the benefits of the Impact loan program?

Impact offers small business loans in amounts up to $25,000, with flexible repayment terms and low interest rates. In addition to financing, Impact includes access to business skills development opportunities, so you can learn the essentials for running a successful business, while focusing on what you know best. Impact provides ongoing business advice and feedback from your loans officer, who will be by your side throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

? Do I need security or collateral for an Impact loan?

Impact is an unsecured personal loan that must be used for business expenses. However, if the loan is used to purchase business equipment or other fixed-assets, Impact may use them as security.

? Do I need a down payment?

Down payments are not required for an Impact loan. However, investors and lenders outside of the Impact loan program may require you to make a personal investment, should you approach them for additional funds.

? Does Impact require a good credit rating?

A credit check will be conducted and used to assess your application for an Impact loan. However, Impact is flexible and may consider credit histories other than what a bank would typically expect.

? Can I use a co-signer if my credit history is not good?

We encourage you to discuss your situation and the possibility of using a co-signer with the Impact partner organization in your area. This decision is left to the lender and may be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

? What if I am unable to make my loan payment?

If a loan payment cannot be made on time, it is important to notify your Impact lender immediately.

? I am under 19/below the age of majority in my province. Can I still apply for Impact?

Young entrepreneurs can still apply for an Impact loan to start or grow their business. If the applicant is under 19, or the provincial age of majority, they be will required to have a co-signer who is of legal age.

? What are the typical repayment terms for an Impact loan?

Impact loans are typically amortized over a 5 year period. Depending on your loan amount and specific situation, terms between 12 and 60 months can be negotiated.

? Where do I make repayments on my Impact loan?

Repayments for Impact loans are to be made to the partner organization in your region. This would be the same organization that issued your loan funds.

? Does loan repayment start immediately?

Impact has flexible repayment options that are negotiated with your lender. You can discuss repayment terms with the partner organization for your region.

? What are the interest rates for Impact?

Interest rates begin at prime plus 2%.

? Can I apply for an Impact loan of $5000?

Impact can consider lending requests of any amount to a maximum of $25,000 per individual/business. Check with the partner organization in your region, as there may be special terms and opportunities for smaller loans.

? Can Impact be used to pay off existing debt?

No. Refinancing is not an eligible use for Impact financing. Impact may only be used for new and ongoing small business expenses.

? What types of business expenses are eligible under Impact?

Impact financing may be used for business expenses such as: working capital, inventory, equipment, or supplies.

? I am purchasing an existing business, am I eligible for an Impact loan?

An entrepreneur purchasing an existing businesses may still apply for an Impact loan. The purchase opportunity will be evaluated as part of the loan assessment.

? Are franchises eligible for Impact loans?

A franchise can be considered under the Impact loan program. The franchise opportunity will be evaluated as part of the loan assessment.

? What is the Impact loan application process like?
  • Entrepreneurs complete the Impact loan application online, or by contacting the partner organization delivering the loan in their area. For the initial application we require information such as: personal contact details, personal assets and liabilities, a description of the business, any current business assets and liabilities, listing of principal owners, and projected business start-up (or expansion) costs and sources of financing.
  • Once the application is submitted, a Loans Officer at the partner organization in your area will be in contact.
  • To continue processing the application, your Loans Officer will request: a copy of your business plan, resume, driver’s license, projected financial statements, answers to additional questions, and permission to conduct a credit check.
  • Once all necessary information has been collected, the Loans Officer will complete an assessment of the business plan and financing needs. This will then be submitted to a loan review committee for a final decision.
  • A Loans Officer will inform you of the decision on your application. If approved, there are legal documents that need to be completed, but disbursement of loan funds usually follows quickly.
? I’ve already begun operating my business. Am I still able to apply for an Impact Start-up Loan?

Newly operating businesses may still be eligible to apply for an Impact Start-up Loan. Please contact the Impact partner organization in your region for their exact eligibility criteria.

? What cities are included in the eligible Atlantic Canadian urban centres?
  • New Brunswick: Dieppe, Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John, Riverview
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Mount Pearl, St. John’s
  • Nova Scotia: Bedford, Dartmouth, Halifax
  • Prince Edward Island: Charlottetown, Cornwall, Stratford
? What partner organization delivers the Impact loan program in my region?
? My business is not located in one of the eligible Atlantic Canadian urban centres. What are my loan options?

The Impact loan program is designed to meet an identified small business lending gap in select Atlantic Canadian urban centres. If you’re operating in Atlantic Canada but not within an eligible city, we recommend contacting the Atlantic Canadian Association of CBDC’s for small business support in your area. If your business is outside of Atlantic Canada, please contact Canada Business for resources in your region.

? I have an existing SEED loan, can I apply for Impact?

Yes, but the maximum loan that you can have outstanding at any time with SEED and Impact is $25,000 (they are the same program).

? I have previously received an Impact loan, but I now need additional funds for my business. Can I reapply for another Impact loan?

The maximum Impact loan any individual/business can borrow at one time is $25,000. If you have an outstanding Impact loan that has a principal balance under $25,000, you may reapply for additional funds up to the $25,000 limit. Please note, a Loans Officer will require updated or additional information to process a new loan application. We recommend contacting your current Loans Officer regarding your new lending needs.

? My business requires more capital than what Impact offers. Can you help me with this?

While the maximum value for an Impact loan is $25,000, an approved Impact loan can often be leveraged to access additional funds, and can even make you a more attractive client for other loan programs. Your Loans Officer may be able to recommend other small business loans offered through their partners.

? Where does funding for the Impact loan program come from?

Impact is funded by the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Government of Canada agency responsible for helping to create opportunities for economic growth in the Atlantic Provinces. The Impact loan program is delivered to entrepreneurs by members of the Atlantic Urban Partnership.

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