SCUGOG — The Ontario government is providing $25 million over the next three years to support economic development in Indigenous communities. This funding will help Indigenous businesses and communities recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, modernize business processes, remove barriers for Indigenous people pursuing an apprenticeship, and provide training opportunities.
“Our government is proud to invest in Indigenous businesses, help create jobs, and support opportunities to modernize business practices in Indigenous communities across the province,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “We understand the unique challenges Indigenous businesses, communities and organizations continue to face as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to providing lasting supports by investing in local economies.”
Funding for 2022-23 will flow through established programs and leverage Indigenous partnerships. Over three years, funding will include:
- $10 million to increase access to low-interest loans and grants for Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs
- $2.5 million for capital to support digitization and e-commerce
- $800,000 to map and better understand issues within Ontario’s Indigenous supply chain and facilitate solutions to increase opportunities for Indigenous businesses in Ontario
- $7.7 million in funding to support economic development training opportunities in communities
- $4 million to reduce financial barriers for Indigenous apprentices.
“Indigenous communities welcome this funding to help businesses and organizations,” said Ontario Regional Chief, Glen Hare. “First Nations communities continue to struggle to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, and this funding will assist with the economic recovery and development for business and entrepreneurs.”
The funding announced today is part of a three-year, $25 million investment announced in the 2022 Ontario Budget – Ontario’s Plan to Build. Supporting Indigenous economic development is an example of Ontario’s commitment to reconciliation and creating opportunities to strengthen relationships with Indigenous partners.