The Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development program (SEED) is open for applicants and will prioritize proposals focused on economic recovery from COVID-19.
The program is run by the department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, who said in a media release it is looking for proposals aimed at supporting employment, creating new opportunities and positioning businesses to recover and grow after the pandemic.
Deneen Everett, executive director of the Yellowknife Chamber Of Commerce, said SEED is important every year, but with COVID-19 she’s happy to see it has shifted its goal.
“It’s great to see that this program will be focussed on the recovery side of things,” she said.
Everett said the program is important, as it helps businesses to expand into new markets.
The program guidelines stated the funding should not be used to cover past losses as there are numerous other federal programs aimed at business relief funding.
SEED will run alongside the federal business relief program, CanNor’s Northern Business Relief Fund, which opened to applicants on April 20.
“With federal initiatives providing immediate relief for businesses, the Government of the Northwest Territories is focusing its resources on what comes next for our business community, recovery,” said Katrina Nokleby, minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, in the media release. “Given the territorial economy prior to COVID, it is important that we be strategic with our resources and not duplicate federal efforts. Our business community will need ongoing support as they rebuild, rehire, and revitalize.”
The guideline also said priority will be given to proposals intending to keep as much of the funding and employment within the local community as possible.
The total budget for the 2020-2021 SEED program is $4 million, and successful applicants could receive between $30,000 and $75,000.
Every one dollar invested in the 2019 SEED program resulted in an additional $1.6 into the economy, the media release said.
Applicants must submit all necessary forms to their regional office of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.
The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce has received SEED funding in previous years for projects and Everett encouraged anyone interested to apply. She said the application process is accessible and straightforward.
She added the the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce is happy to help anyone with questions about SEED or any other funding programs.