BDC Capital and ATB Financial have negotiated a $1 billion agreement to support Alberta-based small businesses.
Each institution will contribute $500 million in new business loans under the program. As the Alberta economy struggles due to a decline in oil prices, ATB president and CEO Dave Mowat said that it’s key for businesses to receive capital as the economy recovers.
“The most important time for businesses to be able to access capital is when an economy begins to rebound,” said Dave Mowat, ATB’s president and CEO. “That’s when businesses can really start to grow and we want to help provide that opportunity. ATB is going to be there for entrepreneurs and continue growing our financial support of them in a big way. Our new partnership with BDC is another step and will enable us to do even more for the benefit of those businesses that are finding a path back to growth, and it will provide a boost to Alberta’s entrepreneurs and our economy as a whole.”
In the last two years, ATB has approved loans totalling over $6 billion to Alberta’s small and mid-sized businesses. In May, ATB opened two Entrepreneur Centres to act as workspaces for business owners and also introduced a Free Banking for Startups package for any Alberta business that incorporates in 2016. For its part, BDC has a total commitment of $3.1 billion to Alberta-based businesses, and last November, made $500 million available in new loans and advisory services to help the province’s businesses struggling with declining oil and gas prices.
The current federal government has expressed a commitment to diversifying Canada’s economy, mostly known for its strong oil, gas, and manufacturing sectors. The government is looking to support more cleantech and tech companies, including $800 million over four years dedicated to supporting incubators and clusters and $130 million over five years to support cleantech research and development.
“Small businesses are truly the backbone of Alberta. This investment means more entrepreneurs and job creators will be able to access the capital they need to take their business to the next level,” said Joe Ceci, Alberta president of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance. “Diversifying our economy continues to be a top priority for our government and this type of investment ensures Alberta will become a more resilient place to do business.”