NEWS BRIEFS: Metis-Dene business fund expands

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The NWT Metis-Dene Development Fund (MDDF), which has been funding small-to medium-sized businesses across the Northwest Territories for over 25 years, has expanded with the acquisition of GL Services, a Yellowknife-based accounting and financial consultation business.

“The addition of GL Services means that we can offer our clients a full range of business administration support and training after they have received funding,” stated MDDF President Jake Heron in a news release.

“We can now provide them not only with financial support, but with the skills and systems that will ensure they build a viable and sustainable business.”

The acquisition is part of an ongoing initiative by MDDF to broaden the range of support they can offer Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses in the NWT, including the delivery of Canadian

Northern Economic Development Agency programs such as the entrepreneurship and business development fund — funding that can be paired with other business financing to help Aboriginal businesses with expansion, capital acquisition and marketing and planning.

– James O’Connor

 

Franklin Avenue construction starts next week

Starting next Wednesday, construction on Franklin Avenue will reduce traffic to two lanes from Norseman Drive to Forrest Drive.

Pedestrian access will be available on the south side of the road, stated a news release from the city.

The transit stop at Forrest Drive will be relocated.

The city reminds drivers to slow down and obey the speed limit in construction areas.

There are a total of 16 construction projects taking place this summer.

– James O’Connor

 

Friday night heights

Lotto Max will set a record for the highest combined lottery jackpot ever offered in a single evening in Canada with an estimated $106 million in prizes.

That includes a $60 million main jackpot and an estimated 46 other draws for $1 million each, stated a news release.

The previous record was $101 million in August 2016.

The biggest historic jackpot win in the North is a $25 million prize won in Faro, Yukon.

Players can buy their tickets for tonight’s draw until 8:30 p.m.

– James O’Connor

 

Food bank withdrawals

Distribution for the Yk Food Bank takes place tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the SideDoor Youth Centre.

Distribution takes place at 5114 52 St. on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.

The upcoming YK Food Bank distribution days are June 9 and 23, stated information from the centre.

New clients are required to register with ID, proof of residency and ID for others in their household. Returning clients are not required to provide that information.

The YK Food Bank is also looking for individuals that are interested in becoming board members or helping out on distribution days. Contact Cherish Winsor at ykfoodbank@gmail.com or (867) 765-5003.

– James O’Connor

 

Yk biz owners ID problem areas

The results of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce 2018 Membership Survey show local businesses are performing well, but believe the high cost of living and doing business, the challenge of attracting and retaining skilled employees, and access to business training are important issues facing their business.

“The most important issues for businesses haven’t changed in the six years since we’ve done our last membership survey,” said chamber president Mike Lalonde.

“We know that businesses want training but don’t have the financial capacity to pursue the training they need.”

The survey was completed by 67 members of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce during the organization’s 2018 membership drive, stated a news release this week.

Training has been consistently reported as an important issue facing Yellowknife businesses.

When businesses were asked what type of training they need to increase business capacity, 44 per cent selected formal social media training, followed by human resource management (37 per cent), marketing (35 per cent), management (30 per cent), customer service (26 per cent) and sales (25 per cent).

– James O’Connor

 

Tlicho slam layoffs at Ekati

In response to potential layoffs at Ekati mine, Tlicho leadership has voiced its support for workers whose entry-level jobs could be axed and contracted out.

Dominion Diamond Mines announced it would lay off 150 Ekati workers by October of this year, citing absenteeism cutting into its profitability, stated a news release by the Union of Northern Workers.

The cuts represent at least eight per cent of Ekati’s 1734 employees.

The Tlicho government yesterday issued its own statement condemning the cuts, and says it “will not accept a reduction in the number of Tlicho employees at Ekati.”

Grand Chief George Mackenzie emphasized Dominion’s duty to hire and retain Tlicho members through the impact benefit agreement.

Parsons confirmed the union had met with the Tlicho government in light of Dominion’s announcement.

– Avery Zingel

 

Make yourself at home

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is celebrating Tourism Week by recognizing – and rewarding – NWT residents whose actions and initiatives embody our Northern spirit and make visitors feel welcome.

The NWT Host Contest invites participants to nominate someone via social media for a chance to win that person $250, stated a news release.

To enter, post on your Facebook or Twitter pages detail: Who you are nominating; What makes them a great “NWT Host;” and make sure to use a #NWTHost hashtag.

The contest runs from until June 1. Ten prizes of $250 are available.

– James O’Connor