Canada to spend $306M on Indigenous businesses struggling amid coronavirus pandemic

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday the federal government will spend $306.8 million to help Indigenous businesses affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The money will give Indigenous businesses access to short-term interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions, Trudeau told reporters.

It comes in addition to the $305 million in funding announced last week aimed at helping Indigenous communities prepare and react to the spread of the virus.

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“Today’s investment will help thousands of businesses bridge to better times, including many that are owned and run by Indigenous women,” he said.

“These businesses employ people right across the country, in small communities and big cities alike. They create good jobs in a whole range of sectors. So when we support them, we’re supporting families and workers too.”

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The funding will be provided through Aboriginal financial institutions and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association.

“It will get easier, but until it does, we need to be prepared to persevere,” he said.

2:06Coronavirus outbreak: Officials praise funding for Indigenous businesses,

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