If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a commercial fisherman or if you already own your own company but need a little financial support, you can get assistance through the Fisheries Loan Guarantee Program. The loan guarantee is backed by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Board, and it covers the cost of fishing licenses, boats, equipment and refinance loans.
A fishery loan guarantee is a promise by the board to take over part or all of the debt if you default on the loan. If you can’t pay the bill, the board purchases the debt from your bank and takes responsibility for the amount you owe. This can often make it much easier for a small business to qualify for a loan through a traditional lender.
To qualify for the loan guarantee program, you must be a Canadian citizen or a Canadian business that lives or operates from Newfoundland and Labrador. You should also have an up-to-date fishing license, a good credit record and proof that you can repay the loan. Other requirements include at least a 10 per cent down payment for boat purchases and vessel construction and 15 per cent down on engines, equipment and repairs. Refinance loans for assets may be financed at 85-percent of the market value. You may also have to provide enough security to cover the loan. Security can be in the form of a promissory note, mortgage and/or equipment. Applications for the loan guarantee program are available at most banks and financial institutions, or you can find it online at the Agriculture Development Board.