OTTAWA AT, June 30, 2020 / CNW / – The National Association of Indigenous Finance Corporations (ANCA) is very pleased to announce that Indigenous businesses have started receiving economic relief from NACCA and Indigenous Financial Institutions (IFA). The AFI Network provides financial and business services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities from coast to coast.
As the national leader in Indigenous economic development, NACCA began searching for a COVID-19 response tailored to the needs of Indigenous entrepreneurs when the crisis first hit in March. In collaboration with Indigenous Services Canada, the Association presented a plan to help Indigenous businesses survive and recover. In late April, the federal government confirmed that it would provide $ 307 million embossed, including $ 204 million for an Emergency Loan Program (ELP) to be implemented by NACCA and AFIs.
“This initiative is very useful and we are grateful to the federal government,” says Jean-Vincent, Chairman of the Board of Directors of NACCA and Chief Executive Officer of Société de Crédit Commercial Autochtone, an AFI located in Wendake, Quebec. Since receiving the emergency loan funds at the end of May, NACCA has allocated $ 123 million for delivery by more than 30 AFIs. The Tale’awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation, the first IFA to provide support under the program, has now made over 80 loans to Indigenous entrepreneurs in British Columbia.
“Indigenous-specific supports are so important to protect First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses affected by COVID-19,” said the CEO of NACCA, Shannin Metatawabin. A disproportionate number operate in sectors heavily affected by social distancing measures. Many Indigenous businesses face other barriers to accessing traditional loans and government support, including remoteness, barriers created by the Indian Act, and poor socio-economic conditions in their communities.
Many Aboriginal businesses across the country are sole proprietors and employ their families. “When events like COVID-19 occur, it has a dramatic effect on family income and on Indigenous communities in general,” says Matt Tapper from Ulnooweg Development Group, an AFI in the Maritimes. “The ELP is going to be another medium that Ulnooweg customers can rely on in these unprecedented times.”
Pam larson, CEO of the Clarence Campeau Development Fund in Saskatchewan suggests that ELP loans fill a gap, helping Métis business owners who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Business Account Program. “The ELP provides small businesses with the capital they need to cover operating costs while restructuring their business to align with COVID-19 security measures and, in many cases, take their business to the next level. e-commerce. ”
NACCA and the AFI Network are on the front lines, helping Indigenous businesses survive this crisis. We will continue to work hard to ensure that the whole $ 204 million emergency loan relief reaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit entrepreneurs across the country – and to advocate for Indigenous specific assistance to promote their long-term recovery.
National Association of Indigenous Finance Societies (ANCA)
Founded in 1997, the National Association of Indigenous Financing Societies (ANCA) is a non-profit organization that defends the interests of a network of 59 Indigenous Financial Institutions (AFIs) providing financial and commercial services to First Nations businesses, Métis and Inuit through Canada. Beyond delivering the Emergency Loan Program and other COVID-19 economic assistance programs for Indigenous businesses, NACCA also administers the Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) and various other initiatives in partnership with the government of Canada.
Our work supports the economic inclusion of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Facts and figures
- AFIs have granted more than 47,000 loans, totaling $ 2.7 billion, over the past three decades. NACCA and AFIs have a proven track record, with an extremely high repayment rate (97.5%) for economic development loans.
- Each year, the AFIs renew $ 120 million in loans to 500 Aboriginal-owned start-ups and 750 existing businesses. Across the country, at any given time, companies with active loans with our AFIs employ more than 13,000 people.
- As with loans to other Canadian SMEs, the ELP support offered to First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses is a $ 30,000 ready and $ 10,000 non-refundable contribution. The current relief program does not yet recognize the barriers that Indigenous entrepreneurs face compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. As such, NACCA is advocating for additional non-repayable capital for Indigenous entrepreneurs as they recover from this crisis.
- NACCA has long advocated for increased federal investment in Aboriginal business development through the AFI network. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, our network was unable to meet the growing demand for debt capital from an ever-growing number of Indigenous entrepreneurs (the fastest growing population in Canada, according to Statistics Canada).
For more information on NACCA, the Indigenous Financial Institution Network and AFIs that are now providing COVID-19 related relief, please visit our website at NACCA.ca.
SOURCE National Association of Aboriginal Finance Corporations
For more information: Shannin Metatawabin, CEO, [email protected], 613-282-2431 (portable); Jean Vincent, president, [email protected], 418-569-7122 (cell); André Jetté, communication manager, [email protected], 613-688-0894, ext. 506