Indigenous Business Supports and Election Postponement

INDIGENOUS BUSINESS SUPPORTS Background $306.8 million in funding has been announced to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses. The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses. These measures will help 6,000 Indigenous-owned small and medium sized businesses get through these difficult times. Key Points Financial support for Indigenous businesses will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada. The funding will allow for interest-free loans, as well as non-repayable contributions, to help Indigenous businesses unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. Additional funding will help Aboriginal Financial Institutions cover operational expenses and help the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association increase its operational capacity. How to Apply At this time, the NACCA website has not been updated to include information or direction on how to access this additional financial support but it is expected that details will be available soon. Full Release: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/18/prime-minister-announces-support-indigenous-businesses ELECTION POSTPONEMENT Federal Minister of Indigenous Services Canada Marc Miller also provided an update regarding upcoming elections in Indigenous communities. He is strongly recommending that any communities that have upcoming elections postpone them on the advice of Public Health. Regulations have been amended so that current leaders can maintain their positions for 6-12 months to see their communities through the worst of the pandemic. That being said, he indicated that the ultimate decision on whether or not to hold elections is up to each community.Statement on update to regulations (April 16th): https://www.canada.ca/en/indigenous-services-canada/news/2020/04/statement-by-the-minister-of-indigenous-services-on-the-first-nations-election-cancellation-and-postponement-regulations-prevention-of-diseases-com.html

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