The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has put together a $280 million financing package to support small and mid-sized businesses — including agri-food companies — in the four Atlantic provinces over the next two years.
The BDC said in a statement that the amount represents a $100 million increase in the bank’s normal lending volume for the targeted industries: agri-food, ocean technology, information and communication technology, and tourism.
The funds will back companies pursuing acquisitions, ownership changes and export growth. The BDC was unable to elaborate on the agri-food strategy by press time, but a spokesperson noted in an email that no specific allocation had been designated for that particular investment bucket.
Michael Denham, president and CEO of BDC, said in the statement that the bank would provide “a unique combination of financing and consulting” to help achieve the ambitions of the targeted SMEs. “As Canada’s only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, we are eager to support entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada as they find new ways to scale up their businesses,” he added.
BDC Capital, the bank’s investment arm, provides cash-flow loans, mezzanine debt and equity. Promoting Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small- and medium-sized businesses, the bank said it recently conducted a study showing that 31 percent of SMEs are having difficulty obtaining financing.