Ontario Supports Indigenous Businesses During COVID-19
Ontario Together Fund Investment will Help Deliver Online Tools and Supports to Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) with $110,000 from the Ontario Together Fund to deliver online tools and resources that will support Indigenous businesses as the province implements its made-in-Ontario plan for renewal, growth, and economic recovery.
"We are actively working with businesses to understand the unique challenges they face due to COVID-19," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "By partnering with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses, we are providing Indigenous businesses access to valuable information, training and programming that will help them recover safely and quickly."
CCAB is a not-for-profit organization that works to strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy across Ontario and supports almost 500 Indigenous and non-Indigenous business members province-wide. The funding provided through the Ontario Together Fund will help the CCAB:
- Produce a data-driven report to assess the effects of COVID-19 within the Indigenous business community.
- Assist Indigenous businesses navigate various COVID-19 programs, services and procurement opportunities available through webinars and web-based assistance.
- Enhance CCAB's online resource platform, Tools and Financing for Aboriginal Businesses, that provides practical guides, training, networks, and a forum to connect and share best practices.
"Our government acknowledges the unique challenges and obstacles Indigenous businesses face and we are working together to ensure Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs are supported during this difficult time," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. "Building on our longstanding partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, we are proud to provide this critical funding to ensure the Indigenous business community has access to the support they need to recover and grow."
The impact of COVID-19 on businesses varies in sectors and communities across the province. Through gathering accurate information to assess the effects of COVID-19 within the Indigenous business community, tailored online tools will help these businesses adapt during the safe and gradual reopening of the province.
"We are thrilled that the Ontario government has selected Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business for this crucial funding," said Tabatha Bull, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. "The Ontario Together Fund will enable us to continue to provide relevant resources to Indigenous businesses to help them navigate these rapidly changing times as well as provide valuable insights to businesses and governments on the unique impacts of COVID-19 on the Indigenous economy and how we move forward."
- The government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support proposals submitted through the Ontario Together web portal to help businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to reopen safely.
- In June, the province announced $10 million in capital support, available through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, to provide Indigenous businesses access to loans of up to $50,000.
- The province announced a $150 million investment to help deliver improved broadband and cellular access to communities across the province where there is a need for better service. Telecommunications service providers, Indigenous communities, municipalities, and not-for-profits are invited to submit their applications for the Improving Connectivity for Ontario program.