Canadian Lenders Association Establishes COVID-19 SMB Working Group

March 19th, 2020 (Toronto)—The Canadian Lenders Association (CLA) today announced the formation of a national working group to support members’ response to COVID-19. The working group will serve as an advisory committee and resource for CLA members and advocate on their behalf as ongoing actions are considered in efforts to provide additional credit to small businesses and individual Canadians disrupted by the Coronavirus.

Gary Schwartz, President of the CLA said, “We presently are in an unprecedented period in Canadian business. In the weeks and months ahead, CLA members will have an important role in providing much needed credit to consumers across Canada. The goal of this initiative is to engage with and advocate on behalf of all stakeholders across the innovative lending ecosystem to help mitigate the disruption that COVID-19 will create in Canada.”

Neil Wechsler, Chair of the CLA and CEO of OnDeck Canada said, “As the COVID-19 situation unfolds, CLA members are working to continue to provide credit and assist small businesses and individuals throughout Canada during this challenging time. This new working group was established to bring CLA stakeholders together, drawing on the breadth of its member companies, and to advocate on behalf of its membership during this unprecedented time.”

The working group is assisting CLA members to respond to impact of COVID-19 on business activity and to engage policy makers and other constituencies on key strategic decisions related to the Coronavirus response.

About the Canadian Lenders Association

The CLA supports the growth of companies that are in the business of lending, or providing other means of credit, to small businesses and individuals using innovative means to exchange ideas and explore ways of improving the sector; encourage principled and professional practices; educate the public at large about innovative lending; encourage potential borrowers to be informed about the appropriateness of innovative lending to their circumstances; and to advocate on behalf of, and represent the interests of, innovative lenders. To learn more about the CLA, please visit its websites at: and at