Vancity today launched the Unity Pivot Business Loan for small businesses that have changed track to support the COVID-19 response specifically, or have had to adapt to the changed environment. Loans of up to $150,000 are available to support businesses pivoting direction to support the fight against the pandemic. These will be interest free for the first six months with no payment required during the first six months either.
From garment manufacturers shifting to produce masks to local perfumeries retooling to make hand sanitizer, local business leaders are lending a hand to those on the frontlines of the pandemic. Others have had to adjust their business to new circumstances – moving their business online, for example. The Unity Pivot Business Loan is available to all businesses that have been in existence for two years or more, who were profitable before COVID-19, and who need financing to support a shift in direction in response to the pandemic.
The Unity Pivot Business Loan is one of two loan programs funded by Vancity members’ deposits under the Unity Term Deposit which allows its members to make a secure return, while having a direct hand in supporting and rebuilding our local economy.
The Unity Bridge Loan, also announced today, is aimed at supporting self-employed people impacted by COVID-19. This term loan will be offered to those who’ve been self-employed for more than two years and who have an existing business with payroll under $20,000. Individuals with no payroll are also eligible for a loan up to $10,000, available interest free for the first six months with no payment required during the first six months either. The Unity Pivot Business and Unity Bridge programs are capped at $50 million.
Since launching on March 23, 2020, the Unity Term Deposit has reached its goal of $200 million and has expanded nationally to Vancity’s federally chartered banking subsidiary, Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB), for institutional investors.
The Unity Loans are part of a suite of measures Vancity is taking to assist members and communities in uncertain times. Vancity recently announced it has reduced interest rates on credit cards to 0% for those impacted by COVID-19 and has a six-month loan deferral program in place. This deferral program includes mortgages and other loans, and will support members facing financial uncertainty and vulnerability from the fallout of Coronavirus.
In partnership with the Government of Canada, Vancity is also supporting small businesses through a number of loan programs, including the Canada Emergency Business Account and Business Credit Availability Program. Since making the Canada Emergency Business Accounts available to its members, Vancity has approved $84,260,000 in total loans to 2,108 businesses.
Quote from Tamara Vrooman, Vancity’s President and Chief Executive Officer:
“It is inspiring to see the business community change direction and move to action in response to COVID-19 to support those on the frontlines, as well as wider society. It takes courage and innovation to do so, and Vancity is here to help businesses with that spirit.
“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. 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,” Tamara continued.
Vancity has temporarily waived some fees to help people access services remotely, including for INTERAC e-Transfer® and ATMs in Canada until September 30, 2020.
To find out more about the Unity Pivot Business and Bridge loans, and other supports Vancity has in place for its members, please visit vancity.com