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Businesses across Nunavut receive targeted assistance to protect local jobs and address the impact of COVID-19
September 18, 2020 — Iqaluit, Nunavut — Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)
COVID-19 has had a severe impact on businesses of all sizes, and those whose livelihoods depend on them. In Nunavut, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have faced challenges keeping their employees, paying rent and managing cash flow.
From the outset, the Government of Canada has taken action to support them, most notably through the territory-specific Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) and the pan-Canadian Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). Significantly increasing the budget of CanNor and the other regional development agencies, the RRRF supports businesses unable to get access to other relief measures, while the NBRF is tailored to the unique needs of Northern businesses. As the economy reopens, the federal government continues to make major investments to protect jobs and support Nunavut businesses.
Relief and recovery funds flowing to Nunavut businesses
Today, Larry Bagnell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for CanNor, announced that 46 businesses across Nunavut have received over $2.5 million in support from the NBRF and RRRF.
Supporting good jobs in communities across Nunavut, these local businesses are the backbone of the Northern economy. They include SMEs from a variety of sectors: from accommodations and food services (11 SMEs supported), to tourism operators (6 SMEs supported), to construction (6 SMEs supported). With the effects of COVID-19 continuing to have an impact, CanNor is extending financial support to current eligible recipients of the NBRF program.
“These investments demonstrate the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting Nunavut businesses. We are working to make sure that small businesses have the resources they need to recover from the impacts of this pandemic. Our goal is to maintain current jobs and create good jobs so that the Northern economy bounces back stronger than ever.”
-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CanNor
“The Government of Canada recognizes the economic impact COVID-19 continues to have on the Northern economy. CanNor is playing a key role in delivering funds to help businesses in Nunavut adapt and position their operations for a successful recovery.”
– Larry Bagnell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency)
“In a time of economic uncertainty due to the pandemic, the Northern Business Relief Fund is welcome support for the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative, which is responsible for the sale and promotion of Inuit art from Kinngait (Cape Dorset). The program allowed us to avoid a significant reduction to core operations and circumvented a long lasting impairment to the local economy. The short term stability afforded by the program, ensures that we can continue to support Kinngait artists and to promote their work internationally, during this challenging time.”
– Jason Paul, General Manager, West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Communications Advisor, Nunavut