Northwest Territories COVID-19 Economic Relief

BDIC Deferred Loan Payments

From April 1 – September 24, 2020, clients (borrowers) of the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) can apply to reduce or defer up to three months of loan payments without penalty or additional interest charges. Regular interest will still be charged.

Criteria:

Businesses are automatically approved and not required to demonstrate financial hardship or impacts resulting from the COVID-19 crises.

To apply:

Send a letter (e-mail is acceptable) to your regional Department of Industry Tourism and Investment regional office stating that you want to reduce or suspend your payments and include the three month time period in which you need it to take effect.

(Note: Consistent with public health guidelines to self-isolate, applications can only be accepted via email.) Your application should be sent, by e-mail, to the appropriate ITI contact listed below:

Please Note:

Requests for payment reductions or deferments must be received by the ITI office no later than the 24th day of the month prior to the payment date.  (For April 2020 payments only, the BDIC will extend the deadline to March 26th to allow sufficient time for applicants to make their requests.)

Your ITI regional office will transmit all requests to the BDIC who will respond to you by email to confirm that your request has been received and processed.

Following the payment deferment or reduction period, existing loan payment schedules will resume along with existing terms and conditions.

Questions relating to this program can be directed to: ITIloaninquiries@gov.nt.ca

BDIC Working Capital Loans

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is offering low interest loans to NWT businesses through the NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC).

Criteria:

To qualify, you are required to provide:

  • Demonstration of financial need for a 30 day period due to cash flows issues resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, ideally backed up by supporting documents;
  • A completed loan application form;
  • A summary of other business relief that you have applied for or received due to COVID-19; and
  • A copy of your NWT business license.

To apply:

Download and complete the loan application form.

Submit your application form, with supporting documents, to your regional Department of Industry Tourism and Investment regional office.  The deadline for the first round of applications is March 31, 2020 (midnight).

(Note: Consistent with public health guidelines to self-isolate, applications can only be accepted via email.) Your application should be sent, by e-mail, to the appropriate ITI contact listed below:

Please Note:

Priority will be given to businesses with fewer than 20 employees, but the GNWT will consider applications from businesses with up to 50 employees. Loans of up to $25,000 (or more if need is clearly addressed) are being made available to qualified NWT-owned businesses at a rate of 1.75%. Loans will be amortized for up to five years with options for payment deferment for 3 months upon request.

This program is considered as an initial response to the current crises. While loan applications should focus on cash flow requirements for the next 30 days, the GNWT is interested in hearing of the longer cash flow challenges facing NWT businesses, should the current crises persist. This information will inform the future government response.

Questions relating to this program can be directed to: ITIloaninquiries@gov.nt.ca

Questions & Answers

BDIC Deferred Loan Payments:

  1. How long can businesses defer their payment, especially if the COVID-19 crisis continues throughout the summer?

Approved deferment of all BDIC loan payments will be for a period of up to 3 months.  Requests can be made anytime between April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

  1. How much money will the BDIC deferred payment program save businesses?

If all BDIC applicants request deferrals, NWT businesses would free up a combined $335K in cash-flow per month.

 

BDIC – Working Capital Loans Program

  1. How many businesses do you expect to apply?

It’s hard to know at this point. However, according to Statistics Canada we have over 3,000 businesses in the NWT, and most if not all, have felt the impact of COVID-19. We will be doing our best to assist as many businesses as possible and those demonstrating the most need due to the COVID-19 crisis.

  1. Is there a maximum amount businesses can apply for under the working capital loan program?

Right now we are trying to gain a better understanding of what the financial need is, however, tough decisions will need to be made to ensure we can support as many businesses as possible with our limited resources.  Internally we are trying to limit any loan to $25,000; however, we will be flexible in our assessments and use the information we gain to develop our future response.

  1. Will this be enough to keep our businesses open?

The program is intended to provide businesses with some bridge financing for their working capital needs for a 1-month period. Many small businesses will require far less than $25,000 and we will be approaching this process with the intention of helping as many small businesses as possible that are demonstrating substantial need.

This first intake will provide us with far better information to gauge the need out there as well as the impact of the substantial federal relief funding announced in recent days.  There will be other programs offered by the federal government and we are unsure how long this situation will last. We will be re-evaluating our approach as this situation continues.

  1. How are you prioritizing the loan applications to ensure disbursement is equitable?

Our assessments will be based on the financial need of businesses hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Right now our criteria are very flexible and we will review all applications and allocate money as fairly as we can.

  1. What if you run out of available funds to lend and more businesses require assistance?

Our economic support programs are supplementing federal programs. The GNWT will continually review our response and look to the business community for advice to meet the needs of small businesses and position our economy for recovery in the long term.

  1. How long will the process take for a business to find out if they are approved?

Without knowing what the program uptake will be, we are anticipating a response time of  1-2 weeks.

  1. What impact will COVID-19 have on the economy?

The impact will be substantial and will depend upon the length of time the COVID-19 crisis lasts.  But we are hoping federal and territorial programs will help alleviate the burden while we gauge our longer term response.  This is why we are also establishing the Economic Advisory Panel – to provide advice on dealing with the immediate problems and help us to plan our long term recovery.