This latest round of funding will include micro-businesses, which weren’t eligible for government aid previously.
A stimulus development fund of $16 million will be directed specifically to Indigenous tourism ventures that have lost revenue due to the coronavirus. The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, a not-for-profit organization, will administer the fund. The Indigenous tourism industry grew by 23 per cent to an estimated $1.7 billion between 2014 and 2017.
In an earlier announcement on April 18, the Government of Canada said it would provide up to $306.8 million to support small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses.
In total, there are an estimated 30,000 Inuit, First Nations and Metis-owned businesses across Canada, most of them small- to medium-sized.
“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,” said Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous Services, who made Thursday’s announcement. “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.”