Helping Small Businesses in Nova Scotia

It’s time to celebrate! Our Small Business Loan Guarantee Program recently reached an important milestone—more than $100 million has now been injected into businesses across Nova Scotia. Since the program launched in 2003, nearly 2,000 companies have received funding through the program resulting in creating/maintaining 12,000 jobs throughout the province.

But we didn’t do this alone. We work closely with the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council and the Province of Nova Scotia to help small business owners make big ideas comes to life.

“There is no other program in the province that provides access to working capital or lines of credit to individuals purchasing a small business or growing an existing business,” says Dianne Kelderman, President and CEO, Nova Scotia Co-operative Council. “It made sense to partner with credit unions because their commitment to fairness, community, and equality matches the program’s intentions.”

How it works

Business owners apply at a local participating credit union to receive up to $500,000 in the form of short term loans, working capital, and lines of credit. Each application is assessed on an individual basis and we review individual business plans, the potential impact on the community, and the overall character.

“When a local entrepreneur walks into East Coast Credit Union, we think, ‘how can we make this happen,’” said, Ken Shea, President and CEO. “It’s very different than a traditional lending model.”

Success stories

For Nova Scotia small business owner Weifang Liu, President of Fluffy Bottom Babies, the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program through her local credit union was the boost she needed to get her business off the ground.

“The credit union was absolutely incredible to work with and quickly approved a line of credit to get my business started and then renewed my loan three years later to help grow the company into what it is today,” said Liu. “I am very thankful I discovered this program. It has helped my business tremendously!”

But Liu isn’t the only success story. Loan losses over the 12-year period have been less than 5%.

Now that we have reached such an important milestone, we will be working with our partners in government to review the program to ensure Nova Scotian small business owners and entrepreneurs are receiving the best possible value for their money so the loan program can continue for years to come.

To find out more, visit your local credit union.