Signs at a Yellowknife grocery store explain Covid-19 physical distancing protocols on April 15, 2020. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
The NWT government says funding through its Seed program can now be used by businesses to cover costs related to Covid-19 protective measures.
Seed stands for Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development, a program of grants administered by the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment.
On Wednesday, the territory said Seed funding applications can now cover Covid-19 costs “in keeping with the spirit of flexibility.”
That means companies and entrepreneurs can apply for Seed cash to put in protective measures like plexiglass sheets for employees’ safety, or for the installation of drive-through windows or outdoor patios to allow a business to continue operating.
Investments that help to shift operations online and the purchase of personal protective equipment for staff are also now covered.
Business that have already spent money on similar things can apply retroactively “for a portion of this investment” to be covered by Seed funding, dating back to expenses incurred from April 1, 2020 onward.
“Applications should clearly demonstrate financial need and the need for the proposed improvements in order to open and function properly,” the NWT government stated in a news release.
“Funding proposals will still need to be forward-looking and include a viable business case.”
Katrina Nokleby, the NWT’s industry minister, said in a statement: “We have listened to the concerns of businesses and are prepared to offer support and do what we can to help businesses operate in the post-Covid environment.”
The territory has $4 million to spend through Seed in the 2020-21 financial year.