19 June 2020 – Capital invested into Indigenous-owned SMEs

Type of Intervention: Financial and Economic
Sectors Involved: Finance/Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Private Sector and Businesses
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction; Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs

Overview: The Ontario government is investing up to $10 million into Indigenous-owned small and medium-sized businesses to provide capital as the province begins reopening. The province will provide up to $50,000 to businesses that are ineligible for, or unable to access, existing federal and provincial COVID-19 response initiatives. These loans are available through the Support for People and Jobs Fund, and are disseminated through Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs). AFIs are autonomous, Indigenous-controlled financial institutions that provide business support and financing for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit businesses in Ontario. Up to 50% of the loan will be in the form of a non-repayable grant, and the loan portion will not have interest due until December 31, 2022.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/mirr/en/2020/06/ontario-supporting-indigenous-owned-businesses-during-covid-19.html

Type of Justification: Providing support
Evidence/Justification: Ontario government officials explained that Indigenous businesses are experiencing revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19. No evidence is provided for this. It is also explained that many of these businesses are rural and remote, and operate in many of the hardest hit sectors such as tourism, retail, and hospitality. This new funding intends to respond to the unique challenges faced by these businesses, with the aim to support these businesses to contribute to rebuilding the provincial economy.