Government of Canada announces additional support for Indigenous businesses and the Indigenous tourism industry

News release

June, 11, 2020 — Ottawa, Traditional Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada

Indigenous businesses are the backbone of communities across the country and an important part of the Canadian economy.

The Government of Canada is taking action to further support Indigenous businesses and the Indigenous tourism industry in response to hardships created by COVID-19. Many of the 30,000 Indigenous businesses in Canada are small to medium-sized enterprises and operate in sectors particularly hard-hit by COVID-19.

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced additional funding totaling $133 million in new funding to support Indigenous business through the pandemic and into recovery. Of these additional funds, $117 million will reach more community-owned First Nation, Inuit and Métis businesses including microbusinesses, who are not eligible for existing business support measures. Indigenous communities rely on these businesses to provide revenue for important services, and to create meaningful jobs.

The Indigenous tourism sector is particularly vulnerable to the economic effects of COVID-19. To bolster this industry, we are announcing a new stimulus development fund that will provide $16 million to support the Indigenous tourism industry. The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada will administer the fund to businesses across the country that have lost revenue due to COVID-19.

Both investments will support Indigenous businesses and expand the reach of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 relief measures.

Quotes

“While our top priority remains the health and safety of individuals, I want to acknowledge the great challenges Indigenous businesses and economies have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indigenous businesses are the driving force of many local economies.  With this additional support, Indigenous communities and businesses will have the flexibility they need to respond to their unique economic needs through this difficult time.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick facts

  • The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide leadership in the development and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism experiences through innovative partnerships.

  • Between 2014 and 2017, the Indigenous tourism industry grew by 23 per cent to an estimated $1.7 billion.

  • Today’s announcement is in addition to other measures and direct supports to Canadian workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

  • ISC administers the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program, the Community Opportunities Readiness Program, the Lands and Economic Development Services Program, and the Strategic Partnerships Initiative, to support various Indigenous economic development initiatives.

  • On April 18, 2020, the Government of Canada announced that it would provide up to $306.8 million to support small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses.

  • On May 21, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $75 million in new funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve. This funding was in addition to a previously announced $15 million for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Vanessa Adams
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller,
Minister of Indigenous Services
343-543-7645

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

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