Nova Scotia’s small businesses will have better access to loans through improvements to the Credit Union Small Business Loan Guarantee Program. Premier Stephen McNeil announced today, April 14, government will keep its promise to increase the provincial guarantee on term loans from 75 per cent to 90 per cent. The total available for program lending will also increase from $25 million to $50 million. “Nova Scotia entrepreneurs need access to capital to expand, hire new workers, and reinvest in their communities today and into the future,” said Premier McNeil. “This program has a proven track record of providing the support small businesses need, especially in rural areas of the province, while being responsible with tax dollars.” Credit unions administer the program and provide loans to small businesses and social enterprises, ensuring lending decisions are made in the community. Government partners with the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council to provide the guarantee. S.G. Levy and Sons Limited used a credit union loan to purchase forestry equipment. As a result, the business has quadrupled log and fiber output. “The last few years have been incredibly difficult for the lumber industry, and that meant getting a loan from a traditional lender was not possible,” said S.G. Levy and Sons Limited manager Greg Levy. “Simply put, we could not have made these improvements without the credit union loan program.” Government is also increasing the maximum loan guarantee for social enterprises from $150,000 to $500,000. “The demand and the success rate of loans issued under this program are truly outstanding,” said Nova Scotia Co-operative Council president and CEO Dianne Kelderman. “By strengthening the guarantee and increasing the amount we are able to lend, government and credit unions are ensuring hundreds of small businesses will have access to the financing they need for years to come.” About 95 per cent of the loans are repaid in full. Over the past 10 years, credit unions have approved loans worth $56 million, helping more than 1,200 small businesses. Loans are available throughout the province. For more information, visit www.cua.com/home or www.novascotia.ca/econ/ .