Banks, credit unions offering rebates to firms that hire disadvantaged workers

TORONTO – Several banks and credit unions in three Ontario cities are offering to help businesses lower interest rates on their business loans or lines of credit if they hire disadvantaged Canadians.

The Toronto-based Social Capital Partners’ “rate drop rebate” initiative is aimed at businesses in London, Hamilton and Ottawa that hire people facing barriers to employment, including students with limited work experience, people with disabilities, older Canadians and unemployed indigenous people.

The group’s founder, Bill Young, says the rebate will help improve the cash flow for the businesses with a cash-back interest rate rebate.

For every new employee hired through the rebate program and retained for a minimum of six months, business owners will receive cash back equivalent to a one per cent reduction in the interest rate on their term loan up to a maximum interest rate reduction of four per cent.

Or they’ll receive the actual interest paid over six months on the business’s line of credit, up to a maximum of two years interest-free.

The Ontario economic development ministry is teaming up with Alterna Savings, CIBC, First Ontario Credit Union, Libro Credit Union and Meridian to deliver the rebate.