Federal Funding Announced to Support Indigenous Businesses

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On April 18, 2020, the Federal Government announced $306.8 million dollars to be provided in order to support small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The financial support will be made by way of short-term interest free loans and non-repayable contributions. Funding will be provided by existing Aboriginal Funding Institutions, a list of which can be found here, and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (“NACCA”) and Métis Capital Corporations.

Information regarding eligibility criteria is limited; however, the following details have been released:

  1. Loans will be provided to those businesses that pass a business viability assessment; and
  2. Non-repayable contributions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and given to those qualifying businesses that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It should also be noted that those businesses that access this stimulus package will not be able to also access the Business Credit Availability Program (“BCAP”). The determination of which stimulus package to access should be made on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration your business’s unique needs.

Clark Wilson’s Indigenous Law Group has experience supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs with joint ventures, business structuring, tax planning, and other corporate and personal matters. To help support Indigenous entrepreneurship during COVID-19, we have published a list of resources available to Indigenous communities, businesses and individuals. We will continue to update this list as additional sources of relief are made available.

For more legal analysis of how COVID may affect your business, or personal affairs, visit Clark Wilson’s COVID-19 Resource and FAQ pages