Wood Product Manufacturers Get Better Financing Under the Canada Small Business Financing Program

James Risdon

Wood product makers in Canada – almost all of them micro or small businesses – are about to get access to better financing options through amendments made to the Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP).

That program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders. Amendments made this summer to the CSBFP are now trickling through the system and mean easier access to capital for small businesses in Canada.

The amendments to the CSBFP provide lenders and small businesses with additional financing products, including a new class of loans, increased loan amounts and terms, improved loan conditions and decreased administrative burdens,” noted Anna Thompson-Amadei, a lawyer in the commercial group of Sotos, in late September.

On July 1, the program’s maximum loan amount jumped by $150 000 to $1.15 million

That includes $1 million for term loans with a maximum amount of $500 000 for equipment, $350 000 for leasehold improvements, and $150 000 for intangible assets and working capital costs. The loan can also include $150 000 for lines of credit for working capital costs.

During Small Business Week 2022, from Oct. 16–22, Small Business Minister Mary Ng was quick to highlight the benefits of this expanded financing for small businesses in Canada.


Our government knows that the last two years have been difficult and that small businesses continue to face challenges,” said Ng.

“We will continue to support them by making life more affordable and ensuring they have the resources they need to succeed.”

In Canada, 91.6 per cent of the 3,207 wood products manufacturers tracked by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC) were considered to be small – and even “micro” – businesses.

A micro business is one with four or less employees and 31.8 per cent, or 1 020 of Canada’s wood products makers fell into that category in 2021 with at least some operating in each of the 10 Canadian provinces. Most of these micro businesses are in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.

There were 348 micro companies in the sector in Ontario, 261 in Quebec, and 214 in British Columbia in 2021 based on the ISEDC’s latest data. Alberta had 77, Nova Scotia 35, New Brunswick 28, Newfoundland and Labrador 26, Manitoba 15 and there were eight in each of Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. Only the territories were devoid of these smaller shops.

A small business in the wood products manufacturing sector is defined by ISEDC as one with five to 99 companies. In this range of companies, Quebec takes the lead with 636 such companies last year.

There were then 495 in Ontario, 451 in British Columbia, and 130 in Alberta. Nova Scotia had 46 such companies, New Brunswick 59, Newfoundland and Labrador 18, Manitoba 43 Saskatchewan 30 and Prince Edward Island eight.

There were none of these small business in Nunavut but there was one in the Northwest Territories and two more in the Yukon, notes the ISEDC.

Across Canada, 59.8 per cent of wood products makers, or 1 919 of them were considered to be small businesses by ISEDC in 2021.

Only 8.2 per cent of wood products makers in Canada, a total of 263 companies, are considered to be medium-sized businesses with 100 to 499 employees and an even smaller number, only five, or 0.2 per cent, are considered to be big business by the ISEDC.

This Small Business Week, let’s celebrate not only the incredible local businesses that make up our community but also, more importantly, the incredible people behind them,” Ng told business leaders at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

They help feed our families, they create local jobs, they grow our economy, and they reflect the qualities and characteristics that make our neighborhoods unique.”

The minister highlighted new measures by her government to make life more affordable for Canadians, including small business owners, by ensuring access to dental care for children, housing security for families, and stable revenues.

With its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy and the Black Entrepreneurship Program to provide funding, mentorship and resources to under-represented entrepreneurs, Ng said Canada is also helping remove systemic barriers faced by under-represented groups.

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