Métis Nation works with Ottawa on supporting Métis businesses from economic impact of COVID-19
On March 30 2020, Gary Anandasangaree, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Bennett, briefed the MNC and the CEOs of Métis Nation capital corporations from the five westernmost provinces on the federal government’s support for Canadian businesses from the economic impact of COVID-19. The discussion focused on how to ensure access of Métis businesses to new federal loans and loan guarantees for small business. This includes the Canada Emergency Business Account that will provide interest-free loans up to $40,000 with $10,000 forgivable if the loan is repaid by 2022.
It was agreed that a follow-up call will be made with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Corporation (EDC) , the two federal Crown corporations that will administer the new small and medium-sized business loan and loan guarantee programs, and Finance Canada. The Métis Nation will be pressing for a fast-track for the capital corporations that provide loans to hundreds of Métis businesses and their clients to access COVID 19 economic support. The capital corporations have paused loan repayments for their clients depriving them of revenue in the months to come and many of their businesses they support are in need of bridge loans to help them survive the sharp and sudden economic downturn.
“We greatly appreciate the Trudeau government’s support for small business during the COVID crisis,” said MNC Vice President and National Spokesperson David Chartrand, “but special measures will have to be taken to ensure our entrepreneurs will actually be able to access the funds and access them in time to avoid insolvency.”
The MNC Vice-President has also been working with Minister Miller to expedite the release of the first two years of funding from federal Budget 2019 which allocated $50 million for the Métis capital corporations over 5 years.
“The MNC and Governing Members have spent many decades building our capital corporations,” said Chartrand, “and we must ensure they remain strong and resilient and can support our businesses and the thousands of jobs associated with these businesses into the future.”