Indigenous businesses (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) have access to the business support programs offered by the Government of Canada during COVID-19.
Visit innovation.canada.ca for a personalized list of business supports
Support Targeted towards Indigenous Businesses
Funding for small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and Aboriginal
• Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses and Aboriginal Financial Institutions that finance these businesses can access
interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions
• Up to $40,000 will be available to small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses in the form of:
• An interest-free loan up to $30,000
• A non-repayable contribution up to $10,000
• Contact your Aboriginal Financial Institution to apply for support.
Indigenous tourism stimulus development fund
• The fund will provide $16 million in grants to Indigenous tourism operators.
• Contact the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada for more information.
Support Measures for community-owned First Nation, Inuit and Métis businesses
• $117 million will reach more community-owned businesses, and micro-businesses in First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities located in the provinces, that are not eligible for existing business support measures.
• The application process for these funds will be announced soon
Support available for all businesses, including Indigenous businesses
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
• The CEBA provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
• Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans
• See a list of participating financial institutions on the CEBA page.
• The Government announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria that will soon allow businesses with total payroll below $20,000 to qualify, if they demonstrate having eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million in 2020.
This includes sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends.
• Small or medium-sized Indigenous businesses looking to apply for up to $40,000 in support must choose between CEBA or the AFI support program as both programs are for a similar purpose.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
• 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses
• Employers of all sizes and across all sectors that have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in the following months are eligible.
• Indigenous-government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible employers, are eligible for the CEWS.
• Apply using your Canada Revenue Agency My Business Account or using the Web Forms application.
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
• The RFFF is targeted towards businesses that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but have
been unable to access existing support measures.
• Nearly $962 million will be provided through the RRRF
• Apply to the RRRF through your local Regional Development Agency
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses
• The CECRA provides forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners who in turn will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.
• Go to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance page for more information and to apply.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
• The CERB provides a taxable benefit of $500 per week for a maximum of 16 weeks to eligible workers and the self-employed who have stopped working related to COVID-19.
• Begin your application on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit page
Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF)
• $15 million available in non-repayable support for operating costs for businesses in the Territories.
• The NBRF provides short-term relief for operational costs in the form of non-repayable grants ranging from $2,500 to a maximum of $100,000.Visit CanNor’s webpage to apply.