Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) are non-profit organizations supported by the Government of Canada. In the last 35 years they have issued over 28,974 loans to Atlantic entrepreneurs and invested more than $1 billion in the Atlantic Canadian economy.

Did you know you can receive financing and business development help from a Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) to help start, grow or modernize your rural Atlantic Canadian business?

In addition to business counselling, training and advisory services, you can apply for financial assistance of up to $150,000 (and sometimes more under certain circumstances) from your local CBDC. This can be in the form of a loan, loan guarantee, or equity financing, to help your business compete successfully in regional, national and global markets.

Looking to buy or sell a business? The Atlantic Association of CBDCs offers one of the region's few resources for business owners and potential buyers to connect, and there's no cost. Check the Business Atlantic Website to learn more.

CBDCs service eligibility

Programs and services delivered by CBDCs may vary by region, but typically the organization works with rural entrepreneurs who need customized financing unavailable from traditional sources. CBDCs work with people in every industry, including fishing and forestry, but normally will not assist with real estate development or debt-consolidation.

Application and selection process

The application process starts when you meet with a CBDC Business Development Officer to discuss your business. You will be required to bring in a business plan, supporting documents, and other materials as requested, and your credit history will be reviewed. Emphasis will be placed on your character and the merits of your business.

Your completed application will be reviewed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of people from your community, who will decide whether the business is viable, and of economic benefit to your area.

Generally the process takes about two to four weeks from the time the application is filed.

Loan terms and application costs

Terms and amortization will depend on the loan you are accessing. The interest rate on core loans can vary depending on the CBDC, but typically starts at prime + 2.00%. Repayment terms are based on a variety of factors.

Some CBDCs charge an application fee, and others charge an administration fee that usually reflects a percentage of the amount you borrow. In all instances, the cost is reasonable, and is often the only fee you will pay.

Finding your local CBDC

There are 41 CBDCs in Atlantic Canada. Contact yours by calling toll free at 1-888-303-2232, or visit the website at You can also access the “Locate a CBDC” tool.