COVID-19: Indigenous Community Business Fund (ICBF)
On June 11, 2020, Minister Marc Miller announced the creation of the Indigenous Community Business Fund (ICBF). This program provides $117 million in support for First Nations, Inuit and Métis community and collective enterprises and microenterprises in Canada in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Of this amount, $17 million is dedicated to the communities in Quebec.
The objective of the fund is to:
- Provide support for businesses that do not qualify for other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures;
- Provide non-repayable financial contributions to help businesses pay for operating costs;
- Mitigate financial pressures;
- Allow these enterprises and microenterprises to strengthen their activities;
- Support sustainability during the pandemic, with the aim of positioning them for recovery.
A two-stream fund
This initiative has two streams. The funding from stream 1 has already been distributed in the form of non-repayable contributions to support communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of stream 1 was to immediately support economic priorities related to COVID-19. The funding was to be used for maintaining or creating short-term jobs.
The funding associated with stream 2 is now available and the communities must fill out an application by October 16th to be included in the first wave of funding. Depending on budget availability, additional waves of funding may be confirmed. The funding available can only be used by for-profit businesses that are more than 51% owned by the communities. It is important to mention that communities can apply for one or more community-owned businesses.
Who can apply?
To be eligible for stream 2, the business must:
- Be more than 51% community-owned;
- Be for-profit (more than 50% of income from commercial activities);
- Have been in operation since at least October 1, 2019;
- Have been solvent, financially viable and not have declared bankruptcy prior to the start of the economic disruptions associated with COVID-19.
Indigenous non-profit organizations (NPOs) and private businesses are not eligible for stream 2 of the ICBF.
Firstly, the purpose of stream 2 is to provide support for community businesses that are not eligible for other assistance measures announced by the Government of Canada in the context of COVID-19 (e.g.; Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), Canadian Emergency Businesses Account (CEBA), etc.).
In addition, community businesses that have had access to the available programs as well as those that were not or partially eligible for the announced programs can also apply to reimburse the deficits generated by community-owned businesses between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. Reductions (losses) in income are therefore not eligible for stream 2 of the ICBF.
It is important to note that the criteria of existing programs will be used to determine the eligibility and amounts of the ICBF contributions.
In order to apply, communities must complete the ICBF financial assistance application form and include the following:
- The monthly provisional financial statements of the business for the following period: April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020;
- Monthly financial statements for the 2019 financial year;
- A copy of the business continuity or resumption plan;
- Letters patent or constituting documents if the business is incorporated.
Communities must provide one application for each of the community-owned businesses for which they wish to obtain funding through the ICBF. For more information on the program, please refer to the description of the Indigenous Community Business Fund.
If you have any questions regarding the ICBF, please contact:
Mr. François Landry
Regional Advisor, Economic Development Programs
If you need help to fill out your application, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Steve Laveau at 418-843-1488, extension 1231, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.