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Indigenous Community Business Fund │ Indigenous Services Canada




The Indigenous Community Business Fund is providing $117 million in non-repayable financial contributions to help support First Nations, Inuit and Métis community-or collectively-owned businesses and microbusinesses whose revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Budget 2021 renewed this funding with an additional $117 million.

The fund has 2 streams:

Stream 1

Funding will be transferred directly to communities and collectives to immediately support their COVID-19 economic priorities. No applications are required for stream 1 funding.

Stream 2

Funding will be proposal-based. Applications must be submitted by the community or collectives on behalf of the business. Funding will be transferred directly to communities and collectives. For First Nations and Inuit community-owned businesses, the funding will be administered by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) regional offices. For Métis collectively-owned businesses, funding will be administered by Métis organizations listed in the “Métis businesses” section.

Eligible Applicants

Your community or collectives are eligible and can apply for stream 2 funding if the business:

  • is First Nations, Inuit or Métis community-or collectively-owned
  • is located in the provinces
  • has been in operation since October 1, 2019
  • has either incurred a negative financial impact due to COVID-19 or that financial support will prevent layoffs, bankruptcy or permanent closure
  • has been solvent, financially viable, and not declared bankrupt prior to the economic disruptions associated with COVID-19
  • currently operates as a for profit entity and expects to continue to operate with a reduction in revenues from the previous year over the coming months as a result of COVID-19 in line with the terms of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • has previously applied for federal business support and been declined, in whole or in part, or does not qualify under business support eligibility criteria:
    • this may include applications to more than 1 federal program depending on the requested support

A First Nations, Inuit or Métis community or collective may apply for funding for 1 or more community-owned businesses.

Businesses in the territories must apply to the Northern Business Relief Fund.

Eligible Expenses

Stream 1

Non-repayable contributions will be provided for the following activities to support communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • meeting general economic needs related to the pandemic:
    • community or collective economic recovery strategies
    • expert advice
    • general business support services
  • supporting microbusinesses with minimal employees:
    • home-based single proprietorship or family-run businesses that could not access other federal programs

Stream 2

Non-repayable contributions where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered for these reasonable operating costs:

  • capital lease payments for existing equipment and machinery
  • salaries and benefits, at the same rate as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and only if ineligible for it
  • utilities
  • bank charges and interest payments
  • professional fees
  • monthly insurance payments
  • rent or mortgage, only if ineligible for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
  • supply and delivery costs
  • operating costs or capital expenditures related to adapting the business and services
  • payments for regularly scheduled debt service of an existing debt that is not related to other federal COVID-19 financial support
  • other reasonable applicable operating costs

Non-repayable contributions will also be considered for COVID-19-related costs associated with the adaptation, planning and reopening of a business such as:

  • costs required to comply with provincial health regulations
  • retraining
  • marketing
  • technology
  • professional services
  • planned maintenance and repairs the business is unable to complete due to cash flow
  • other reasonable operating costs

Deadline Date

  Status: Closed.


Contact Name: Applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate ISC regional office representative for this fund if they have any questions regarding the application.


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