$25M Allocated to Indigenous Community Economic Development

In support of economic development in Indigenous communities, the Ontario government will provide $25 million over the next three years. Indigenous businesses and communities will benefit from this funding in the following ways: recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, modernizing business processes, providing training opportunities, and removing barriers for Indigenous people to enter apprenticeships.

As part of the 2022-23 funding plan, Indigenous partnerships will be leveraged and funding will be distributed through existing programs. One component of this funding is to support individual projects and initiatives with the intention of generating improvements for entrepreneurs, converting businesses to digital platforms, and providing necessary training for workers.

Ontario’s 2022 Budget makes promises that this initiative will fulfill. Throughout the budget, Ontario placed a strong emphasis on supporting Indigenous economic development to strengthen relationships with Indigenous people and to represent its commitment to reconciliation.

To start, indigenous business grants and indigenous entrepreneur grants will provide up to $10 million in low-interest loans and grants that will allow businesses to scale up their operations on favourable terms to meet the challenges and opportunities posed by the changing 2022 economy.

“Indigenous communities welcome this funding to help businesses and organizations. First Nations communities continue to struggle to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, and this funding will assist with the economic recovery and development for business and entrepreneurs.”

Glen Hare, Ontario Regional Chief

Moreover, $2.5 million will be used to support digitization and e-commerce for businesses. As the world converts to a digital platform, it becomes more and more important for businesses to align their operations, products, and services to be more digital-friendly. These technological improvements would be able to provide significant productivity output increases.

An amount of $800,000 will go towards mapping the Indigenous supply chain in Ontario and facilitating solutions that will create more opportunities for Indigenous businesses. Supply chain challenges were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, having caused significant hurdles for Canadian businesses as they struggle to meet consumer demand.

Community economic development training opportunities will be supported with $7.7 million in funding for Indigenous peoples. As new systems, technologies, and businesses begin to enter the community, workers will need to adapt their skillsets to be able to thrive in these new business landscapes.

“Our government is proud to invest in Indigenous businesses, help create jobs, and support opportunities to modernize business practices in Indigenous communities across the province. We understand the unique challenges Indigenous businesses, communities and organizations continue to face as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to providing lasting supports by investing in local economies.”

Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs

Lastly, grants for indigenous projects for apprentices will be able to benefit from $4 million in funding to reduce financial barriers. These barriers are causing difficulties in the labour market as sectors across Ontario and Canada face huge shortages, therefore generating issues with community housing, infrastructure maintenance, and more.

Learn More About Government Funding Opportunities

There are many grants and government incentives available for Canadian companies and communities that support emerging businesses and sectors in Ontario. 

To see a comprehensive list of the top programs available to Canadian companies and municipalities visit the Canadian Municipality Funding Programs Directory or Ontario Grants and Funding Directory today.

Additionally, Mentor Works offers free monthly webinarswith industry partners and experts to provide Canadian businesses with the information and strategies they need to secure funding. Through our webinars and events, we help you learn how you can take advantage of government funding opportunities.

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