Indigenous Community Business Fund

First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities and collectives can access funding to support their community-owned businesses whose revenues have been affected by COVID-19.

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About the program

The Indigenous Community Business Fund will provide $117 million in non-repayable financial contributions to help support operating costs for First Nation, Inuit and Métis community-or collectively-owned businesses and microbusinesses whose revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund seeks to provide support for businesses that do not qualify for other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures.

It is intended to relieve financial pressure and allow these businesses and microbusinesses to strengthen operations and support their viability during the pandemic, with the goal of positioning them for recovery.

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 delivery partners.

Who can apply

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

A First Nation, 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.

How to apply

To apply for stream 2 funding:

  1. Complete the Indigenous Community Business Fund Financial Assistance Application form
  2. Include with your application the form above and:
    • the most recent interim financial statements such as a year to date balance sheet and profit or loss statement
    • a copy of your business continuity or recovery plan
    • letters patent or incorporation documents, if incorporated
  3. Submit your application package to your ISC regional office representative by email in the contact us section below

You will receive an acknowledgement notification within 2 business days of submitting an application to the ISC regional office.

Other documents could be requested from the applicant if needed. If you have been in operation for less than 1 year, please provide interim financial statements.

Deadline

There are no submission deadlines. Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis until all funding has been allocated.

Eligible costs and activities

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 financial support
  • other reasonable applicable operating costs

Costs not eligible for non-repayable contributions include:

  • any costs deemed not reasonable or not directly related to business operational expenses
  • refinancing or repayment of an existing loan or debt resulting from other federal COVID financial support
  • costs of amortization and goodwill
  • acquisition of buildings
  • costs for services provided by a federal or provincial government
  • loss of revenue

Assessment process

Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. They will be screened for eligibility, using the criteria above, before proceeding to an assessment to determine the amount of eligible funding.

Decisions will be shared with applicants as they become available. Applicants who are unable to clearly demonstrate that they meet all recipient and cost eligibility requirements will be declined.

At any time during the intake and assessment process, an ISC representative may contact the applicant for additional information, including missing or incomplete documentation. Delays in responding to requests for additional information within 5 business days may result in a delayed or declined decision.

Confidentiality

All proprietary data, commercially sensitive information and potentially valuable results or ideas will be protected from unauthorized, inadvertent or untimely disclosure. This information will be treated in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

These laws govern, protect and limit the collection, use and disclosure of personal and confidential information by federal government departments and agencies. Beyond the parties already mentioned above, confidential commercial information will not be shared without the applicant's consent.

Reporting requirements

Recipients will be required to submit periodic project reports and annual financial statements. Project reports will provide details on results and completion of deliverables.

Contact us

Applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate ISC regional office representative for this fund if they have any questions regarding the application. Application packages should be sent by email to your appropriate regional office representative.

Region Email Telephone
Atlantic aadnc.developpementeconomique-at-at-economicdevelopment.aandc@canada.ca 902-426-0663
Quebec aadnc.qctdeledqc.aandc@canada.ca 1-800-263-5592 option 6
Ontario aadnc.ledontario.aandc@canada.ca 647-920-9516
Manitoba aadnc.mbppdeconomicdevelopment.aandc@canada.ca 204-250-1801
Saskatchewan aadnc.skecdev.aandc@canada.ca 306-230-2857
Alberta doris.liebrecht@canada.ca 780-495-2787
British Columbia aadnc.bcecdev.aandc@canada.ca 604-562-6865
Northern British Columbia anyes.dimsdale@canada.ca 867-334-1502
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