As of August 20, 2020

Overview of the Indigenous Community Business Fund (ICBF)

  • On June 11, 2020, Minister Miller announced the creation of the Indigenous Community Business Fund (ICBF).
  • The ICBF will provide $117M in support to First Nation and Inuit community-owned and Métis collectively-owned businesses and microbusinesses in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19, in cases where other federal business assistance measures are not applicable.

It is intended 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 support operating costs;
  • Mitigate financial pressure;
  • Allow these businesses and microbusinesses to strengthen operations;
  • Support viability during the pandemic, with the goal of positioning them for recovery;

Funding under Stream 1 has been allocated using the same formula-based approach used to allocate the Indigenous Community Support Fund. Each recipient will be allocated a base amount of $50,000 with an additional allocation based on population, community well-being and remoteness These funds are intended to support the local economy. Eligible uses of these funds include:

  • meeting general economic development needs during the pandemic (e.g. community/collective economic recovery strategies, expert advice, general business support services); and,
  • supporting micro-businesses (home-based single proprietorship or family run businesses with little to no employees) which could not access other federal programs.

Ontario Region will be allocating funds under Stream 2 through a needs-based approach.  First Nation communities or representative organizations such as Tribal Councils, are eligible to apply for funding under this stream on behalf of community or affiliated, collectively-owned for profit  businesses.

To be eligible for Stream 2 funding, businesses must:

  • either demonstrate that the business has incurred a negative financial impact due to COVID-19 (i.e., increased costs for operations resulting from adaptation measures such as purchasing PPE, implementing social distancing requirements for employees or customers or ‘pivoting’ business activities to meet changing client needs); or
  • demonstrate, where applicable, that financial support will prevent layoffs, bankruptcy or permanent closure;
  • have been in operation since October 1, 2019;
  • have been solvent, financially viable, and not declared bankrupt prior to the onset of economic disruptions associated with COVID-19;
  • currently operate, and expect to continue,  with a reduction in revenues (additional details to be communicated on the website noted below); and
  • attest that they have applied, and been declined, for federal general population business support. This may include applications to more than one federal program depending on the requested support.

Additional program information and a copy of the application template is available at:

Applications to be submitted to:


For further information please contact:

Natalie Pennefather, Director Lands and Economic Development