Futurpreneur announces new support measures for young entrepreneurs during covid-19

March 27, 2020

Measures range from temporarily stopping loan repayments and reducing its interest rate to offering two online peer support communities and maintaining a digital resource guide

Toronto, ON, March 27, 2020 – Futurpreneur Canada today announced a range of measures aimed at helping the thousands of young Canadian entrepreneurs in its network whose small businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Small businesses (those with fewer than 100 employees) are the powerhouses of the Canadian economy, providing vital employment in communities large and small from coast to coast to coast. They comprise nearly 98 per cent of all employer businesses in this country, employ nearly 70 per cent of the total private labour force and in 2015, generated 41.7 per cent of the gross domestic product generated by the private sector.

Given the serious impact the pandemic has had on small businesses, Futurpreneur announced new measures to support the young Canadian business owners in its network during these unprecedented times:

  • Temporary loan relief: As of March 25, payments on all outstanding loans, including principal, interest and fees, were stopped for one month for all of Futurpreneur’s more than 3,200 current Start-up Program clients.
  • Interest rate cut: Futurpreneur has matched recent Bank of Canada interest rate reductions, including the recent drop of 0.5% announced on March 13. This means that as of March 17, entrepreneurs repaying their loans will benefit from a rate reduction of 1.0% on their current rates since early March, reflecting the lower prime interest rate. The Bank of Canada today announced a further rate reduction and we are working with our banking partners to determine further adjustments.
  • Peer-to-peer support: Futurpreneur is convening regular webinars (in both French and English) for the entrepreneurs in its network, providing a live digital platform where they can learn from Futurpreneur business coaches and from each other, and share tips, challenges and the actions they can take to move forward during these challenging times.
  • National collaboration channel: To encourage further collaboration among small business owners across Canada, Futurpreneur has launched an invite-only Slack channel for its clients, enabling them to connect with each other and with Futurpreneur business coaches, share ideas and resources, post questions, learn about the latest support measures and offer critical peer support.
  • Digital resource guide: To help small business owners keep up to date with the latest government support measures, as well as new tools and resources, Futurpreneur is maintaining a digital resource guide.

With typically tight margins—a 2016 JP Morgan study found that the average small restaurant, retailer and manufacturer had 16, 19 and 30 days of cash on hand respectively—small businesses are vulnerable to economic downturns in the best of times. The COVID-19 pandemic has made their survival much more precarious. In fact, a recent survey by Toronto startup Lending Loop found that small businesses in the food service, travel and tourism, retail and education industries will see March revenue declines of 70 per cent or more.

To help the thousands of young entrepreneurs across Canada manage through this challenging period, and ensure that entrepreneurship remains the engine of prosperity in communities across the country, Futurpreneur is continuing to work with its government and private partners on further support measures, and we foresee announcements in the coming days.

About Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada has been fuelling the entrepreneurial passions of enterprising young Canadians since 1996. We’re the only national, non-profit organization that provides resources, financing and mentoring to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program matches young entrepreneurs with business experts from a network of over 3,000 volunteer mentors.

Futurpreneur is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

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