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The concept works in this way. Say 5 High net worth individuals wish to invest in a qualifying business. A VCC is applied for and if granted, their funds are pooled together in a VCC that owns a minority interest in the targeted company. If a wider net of investors is required then other factors come into play such securities regulations and Offering of memorandums. The participating shareholders of a VCC cannot be specified shareholders of the investee company. A business improvement loan is available through Canadian Chartered Banks and some Trust companies to assist small businesses in the purchase, installation, renovation or improvement of fixed assets. Assistance includes up to 90% of land and buildings, or up to 80% of equipment costs to a maximum of $250,000. BIL interest rates are a maximum of prime plus 1.75 per cent. Caution must be used here. This would not necessarily be part of a prudent personal financial plan. Though in a business start-up this may fit. In a startup, cash flow is usually less in the beginning and over time, sales increase and cash flow would improve making it easier to afford down the road. As a result, a business may be in a better position to pay for the purchase out of future cash flow rather than now at the start-up stage. In contrast, where personal cash flow is often flat and tied to a set wage, this would serve no purpose or advantage and merely delays the inevitable. One such organization is Community Futures. This organization promotes self-employment through small business start-up and ownership as a viable option to UIC or welfare. Canada Trust has recently introduced a new small business lending program targeting owner operated small businesses. They will lend up to a $50,000 Line of Credit against personal property (up to 75% of the appraised value) with rates starting at prime and in most cases unsecured. They place a greater emphasis on personal credit history and income. In most cases they do not go through the usual business evaluation process and do not require company financial statements. If your proposal is refused, ask for the specific objective reasons. Do not accept reasons such as "We just don't want to do it" or "We don't think it will work". By finding out why you were refused, you can determine if it is worth changing the proposal and, if so, what you have to do to make it acceptable. Use the lender's assessment of the proposal as feedback to help you identify and correct any weaknesses in your plan. If certain changes (more collateral, further capital, revise sales forecasts etc.) will make the proposal acceptable, decide if your are willing to make the changes suggested. If so, get the lender's assurance that your proposal will be accepted once you have complied with these requirements. Rarely, is plan A (first submission) the version that is accepted and implemented. Often, some changes are necessary to make the plan fit the circumstances and specific requirements of the lender. Don't be surprised or discouraged by these requests.
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