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Thursday , 5 August 2021

Expanding Indigenous businesses in Alberta

Indigenous community-owned businesses can apply for capital grants to create jobs and stimulate local economies.

Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF) grants are now open for 2021-22 submissions. These grants will provide up to $500,000 to eligible Indigenous-owned businesses for projects that provide social and economic benefits to their communities.

“Indigenous-owned businesses have an active role to play in Alberta’s recovery,” Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations said. “ABIF helps develop and expand Indigenous businesses, create jobs and stimulate local economies. Alberta’s government is proud to support Indigenous economic development to create a strong future for everyone in Alberta to be true partners in prosperity.”

ABIF funding focuses on expanding Indigenous businesses and creating jobs in a wide array of sectors. From grocery stores to gas stations and tourist ventures to construction and forestry operations, ABIF is part of the government’s commitment to partner in prosperity with Indigenous communities in Alberta.

Eligible projects should be close to starting operations or breaking ground within the year following funding and aim to increase:

  • the number of Indigenous community-owned businesses
  • employment opportunities for Indigenous Peoples
  • local revenue streams for Indigenous communities

“The ABIF grant program is a great financial tool to help spur investment in Indigenous business opportunities,” Kiaayo Tamisoowo Chief Stanley (Stan) C. Grier, Piikani Nation, Chief and president of the Blackfoot Confederacy said. “Piikani First Nation appreciates the program.”

Since 2020, ABIF has supported eight projects that have created 176 jobs. This includes:

  • approximately 81 full-time permanent jobs
  • more than 95 full-time construction jobs

Recently funded projects include:

  • Kikino Metis Settlement was granted funds to expand their Silver Birch Resort by building eight trappers’ tents and winterizing all their cabins
  • Lac Ste. Anne Métis Community Association was granted funds to develop a commercial greenhouse and field reclamation services for reforestation projects in Alberta
  • Little Red River Cree Nation is using funds to purchase a modular flexi-float barge to expand operations of the marine division of Caribou Mountain Construction
  • Piikani Nation was granted funds to design and build an asphalt parking lot at the Piikani Travel Centre

Indigenous community-owned businesses are receiving capital funding in 2021 to improve social and economic outcomes in their communities. All the details are available online at alberta.ca.

The closing date for applications is Sept. 30.

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner!