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.
On this page
About the program
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 supports the operation of the businesses as well as costs to support the adaptation, planning and reopening of a businesses.
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:
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.
Who can apply
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.
How to apply
First Nations and Inuit businesses
To apply for stream 2 funding:
- complete the Indigenous Community Business Fund Financial Assistance Application form
- financial statements to demonstrate the decrease in revenue that covers the period of the application request
- a copy of your business continuity or recovery plan
- letters patent or incorporation documents, if incorporated
- 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.
Métis businesses must apply directly to the Métis organizations below that is in the same province as your Métis business. Each organization will assess the applications they receive in line with ICBF criteria. For details on the application process, please contact the Métis organization of your province.
n/a in this table means non-applicable.
|Alberta||Apeetogosan Métis Development Inc.||firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com||
Toll free: 1-800-252-7963 (in Alberta only)
|British Columbia||Métis Financial Corporation of British Columbiafirstname.lastname@example.org||n/a|
|Manitoba||Manitoba Métis Federationemail@example.com||
Toll free: 1-800-387-6004
|Ontario||Métis Voyageur Development Fundfirstname.lastname@example.org||Toll free: 1-855-798-0166|
|Saskatchewan||SaskMétis Economic Development Corporationemail@example.com||
For other provinces, applicants can submit their application package by email to the appropriate ISC regional office in the contact us section below.
There are no submission deadlines. Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis until all funding has been allocated.
Eligible costs and activities
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
Costs not eligible for non-repayable contributions include:
- any costs deemed not reasonable, expenses not associated with the operation, adaptation, planning and reopening of a business
- refinancing or repayment of an existing loan or debt resulting from other federal COVID-19 financial support
- costs of amortization and goodwill
- acquisition of buildings
- costs for services provided by a federal or provincial government
- loss of revenue
First Nations and Inuit businesses
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.
The Métis organizations listed above will assess the applications they receive. For specific information on how they will assess applications, please contact the Métis organization in your province.
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.
Recipients will be required to submit periodic project reports and annual financial statements. Project reports will provide details on results and completion of deliverables.
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.
|Quebecfirstname.lastname@example.org||1-800-263-5592 option 6|
|Northern British Columbiaemail@example.com||(867) 667-3391|