The NWT’s Business Development and Investment Corporation says one of its funds can now provide up to $3,500 to help certain businesses affected by the current Covid-19 outbreak.
The corporation said an “aftercare relief” program, part of its Business Development Project Fund, could give up to $2,500 to businesses in Yellowknife (and Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik) “impacted by recent public health measures.”
That sum increases to $3,500 in smaller NWT communities.
A total of $100,000 is available. The BDIC program joins a separate territorial fund offering affected businesses up to $5,000.
Some NWT business owners have suggested the sums involved in these newly announced or amended programs are small, given the extensive economic impact of the pandemic. The NWT government said it was releasing money where it could.
“The Government of the Northwest Territories continues to explore and implement different ways to help NWT businesses impacted by the most recent public health measures through relief funding and resources such as the BDPF Aftercare Relief,” said Caroline Wawzonek, the minister who oversees BDIC.
“We acknowledge the enormous contributions that small and medium-sized businesses make to our communities every single day and remain committed to supporting them during these challenging times.”
BDIC said the aftercare relief option was intended to create new jobs or maintain existing ones as operational needs change due to the pandemic.
“This short-term funding will also support businesses’ efforts to create new revenue streams and reduce costs,” the corporation said in a news release, or help businesses with planning and financial training.