CALGARY, July 15, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Recognizing a need to further help Alberta-based small and mid-sized businesses gain access to capital, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and ATB Financial (ATB) have negotiated a $1 billion agreement to support small business.
BDC and ATB will each contribute $500 million in new business loans under the program, a first of its kind between the two financial institutions.
"The most important time for businesses to be able to access capital is when an economy begins to rebound," says Dave Mowat, ATB's President & 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."
The agreement between the two financial institutions further demonstrates both BDC's and ATB's commitment to stand by Alberta businesses in good times and difficult times. And both organizations are committed to continue to look for future opportunities to bring even more capital and liquidity into the province.
"When the going gets tough we up our game to find new, innovative ways to support business owners. It's all hands on deck for Alberta now" says Michael Selci, Senior Vice President, Financing and Consulting at BDC. "As Canada's only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, we look forward to working even more closely with ATB to increase access to capital for entrepreneurs in the province, so they can position themselves for future growth."
"Alberta's small and medium-sized business can count on our Government during this time of economic rebuilding," said Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism. "I'm so proud that the BDC and ATB have put forward this fantastic new initiative. Their $1 billion co-lending program in new business loans will help Alberta's innovative small businesses create middle class jobs for Albertans."
"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."
The agreement is the latest in a number of initiatives introduced by both ATB and BDC to help Alberta entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
In the last two years alone, ATB has approved loans totaling over $6 billion to Alberta's small and mid-sized businesses. In May, ATB opened its first two Entrepreneur Centres—dedicated spaces for business owners to bank, learn, connect and collaborate. ATB also introduced a Free Banking for Startups package, available to any Alberta business that incorporates in 2016.
For its part, BDC has a total commitment of $3.1 billion to Alberta businesses. Last November, BDC made available $500-million in new loans and advisory services to help the province's businesses struggling with declining oil and gas prices. Earlier in March, BDC and the Government of Alberta signed a Letter of Intent to facilitate access to capital and business services for Alberta companies.
Both ATB and BDC also recently announced special loan relief measures to help clients affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires.
For more information on the new financing, visit atb.com/business
BDC is the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. It promotes Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. With its 110+ business centres from coast to coast, BDC provides businesses in all industries with financing and advisory services. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers equity, venture capital as well as customized growth and business transition capital. To find out more, visit bdc.ca.
About ATB Financial
ATB Financial has been putting people first for more than 75 years. In that time, ATB has grown from one small Treasury Branch to become the largest Alberta-based financial institution and the number one choice for Alberta businesses. Today, 5,300 team members help more than 710,000 customers in 244 Alberta communities through a network of 172 branches, 135 agencies, and a Customer Care Centre. In 2016, ATB was named the fourth-best place to work in Canada by the Great Place to Work Institute.
SOURCE Business Development Bank of Canada
For further information: or interview requests, please contact: Maria Constantinescu, Senior Advisor, Media RelationsBDC, [email protected], 1-844-625-8321; Barry Strader, Corporate Reporter, ATB Financial, [email protected], 780-886-4398