SCUGOG, ONT. — The Ontario government is providing $25 million over the next three years to support economic development in Indigenous communities and to help Indigenous businesses and communities recover after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding for 2022-23, which will flow through established programs and leverage Indigenous partnerships, is intended to help modernize business processes, remove barriers for Indigenous people pursuing an apprenticeship, and provide training opportunities.
Over three years, funding will include:
- $10 million to increase access to low-interest loans and grants for Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs;
- $2.5 million for capital to support digitization and e-commerce;
- $800,000 to map and better understand issues within Ontario’s Indigenous supply chain and facilitate solutions to increase opportunities for Indigenous businesses in Ontario;
- $7.7 million in funding to support economic development training opportunities in communities; and
- $4 million to reduce financial barriers for Indigenous apprentices.
“We understand the unique challenges Indigenous businesses, communities and organizations continue to face as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, in a statement. “We remain committed to providing lasting supports by investing in local economies.”