Up to 50% loan forgiveness offered for economic recovery of Indigenous businesses

eAwaz Local News

Ottawa – Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses across the country have experienced tremendous volatility during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continue to feel the effects as our economy rebounds. Many were able to take advantage loans available through the Indigenous Business Initiative and remain operational.

In response to these challenging events and as part of Budget 2022 measures, Indigenous Services Canada, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and Métis Capital Corporations are supporting Indigenous small and medium-size enterprises by forgiving up to 50 per cent of the COVID Indigenous Business Initiative loans, which provided much needed assistance during the pandemic.

Loan forgiveness measures means businesses like Nemesis Coffee in Vancouver can recover faster for the long term, support their local economy, and maintain good quality jobs. At the onset of the pandemic, Nemesis Coffee had to close their café and bakery to convert to a takeout model, and halt construction on other projects. They were able to receive support through the Indigenous Business Initiative, allowing them to keep the lights on, and remain resilient throughout.

These measures will benefit approximately 3,800 small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs across the country, and represent $82.5 million in loan forgiveness. Loans are administered through both NACCA’s network of financial institutions and through five Métis Capital Corporations.

Implementation of the Indigenous Business Initiative loan forgiveness began mid-summer, and Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs are encouraged to contact their respective financial institutions and Métis Capital Corporations regarding their loans.

“At the onset of the pandemic, Nemesis Coffee in Vancouver closed their café and bakery for in-person service and converted to a takeout model. The business also had to halt construction on other projects. However, with support through the COVID Indigenous Business Initiative, they are still going strong. The company has survived and thrived, and continues to contribute to the local economy, including by creating good jobs, many of them for young people. Indigenous-owned businesses across the country, like many others, have struggled to continue operating during this unprecedented time of disruption related to COVID-19 measures. As our economy and communities recover,  the federal government, with the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and Métis Capital Corporations, have announced up to 50 per cent loan forgiveness for small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses who used the COVID Indigenous Business Initiative. This measure will help more than 3,800 companies and entrepreneurs across the country to keep going, keep recovering, and to keep being an essential ingredient in the local and national economy.” – Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services