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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's government expanded the borrowing capacity of its Business Development Bank by C$1.8 billion ($1.5 billion) in a bid to make it easier for the nation's companies to find credit, Industry Minister Tony Clement said on Wednesday.
The move to raise the borrowing authority of the Business Development Bank of Canada to C$11.5 billion from C$9.7 billion comes amid growing concern over the impact of the global financial crisis on the Canadian economy.
"The recent credit market tightening has increased the demand for financing offered by such Crown corporations as BDBC," Clement said in a press release.
"Our actions will ensure that BDBC has the necessary flexibility to help small and medium sized businesses and manage its liquidity and business activities in a prudent and cost effective manner."
The move builds on government approval last month of a C$2 billion increase in Export Development Canada's borrowing authority, aimed at helping exporters, Clement said.
Reporting by John McCrank; writing by Richard Valdmanis; editing by Rob Wilson