CCDF has funding boost for Métis business
- NC Raine | October 27, 2020
Métis communities, businesses, and individual entrepreneurs hoping to expand their venture can explore opportunities through a new grant from the Clarence Campeau Development Fund (CCDF).
The new Métis Entrepreneurs Equity Program is a non-repayable contribution towards business and communities, can be used to cover costs associated with operations, marketing, business innovation and growth, consultation, training, and mentoring.
“We're really excited about this fund, because our existing programs never used to allow us to fund (these types of costs)” said Pam Larson, Chief Executive Officer of CCDF.
“These Métis businesses create jobs. They give back to the economy. They pay taxes and buy supplies and give business to other businesses.”
The program, which is available to eligible businesses and entrepreneurs immediately, will provide a non-repayable contribution of up to 40% of project costs to a maximum of $99,999, and a maximum of $250,000 to Métis communities. CCDF is offering a total of $356,000 to be used by March 2021. The funding was received from the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association and the Government of Canada.
The program, though, has a three year control period – it is only non-repayable as long as the business continues to run over the next three years.
For communities, Larson said any Métis community who wishes to do something to generate revenue, such as a construction company who wanted to buy additional equipment, would be eligible to apply for funding.
“People are sending in requests like crazy. People are excited about this program,” said Larson.
According to Larson, CCDF has already processed 124 applications this year for programs in their suite of programs, compared to 84 total last year.
The stress the pandemic has put on individuals, communities, and businesses has kept CCDF extremely busy this year. At the beginning of the pandemic, CCDF surveyed their clients to find out what sort of programs would most meet their needs. They established an Emergency Loan Program, so their current clients could access loans up to $30,000 and $10,000 in grants.
Larson said they understand the immeasurable value that Métis business brings to the community.
“Culture wise, as people are successful, it has socio-economic impacts. It increases health, people give back to their communities, there's more cultural events they participate in or donate to, and so there's a whole spinoff from successful Métis businesses,” she said.
And people are resilient, she said. Earlier in the year, CCDF stopped taking client payments for four months in order to help ease some stress during the pandemic. Once they started pulling payments, only around 1% of their client base came up delinquent.
“They're surviving. They're adaptable. Even though we're in a COVID situation, our clients keep showing us that they're resilient and creative.”