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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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
- professional services
- planned maintenance and repairs the business is unable to complete due to cash flow
- other reasonable operating costs
Deadline DateStatus: 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.