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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 Financial Institutions
- 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