Nunavut businesses get a boost from CanNor
Kakivak gets an extra $1.5 million for Inuit companies
Economic development organization, Kakivak Association, has received a $1.5 million funding boost from the federal government.
That money from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, or CanNor, will be spent as part of a three-year agreement Kakivak has with CanNor, signed in 2015, to manage and deliver federal funding to small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses.
The latest contribution by CanNor doubles the available funding for the program, now at $3 million.
Kakivak business manager Glenn Cousins says the high number of funding applications from Qikiqtani businesses was what prompted Kakivak to request the additional money.
“We made a submission to CanNor to top up our equity fund because we could demonstrate that the demand for the program was more than what we had to support,” he said.
Cousins confirmed that most of that new money has already been allotted for this fiscal year, due to the program’s high-demand.
Cousins estimates “more than 15 businesses” have benefitted from grants since the program began in 2015 but it’s unclear how successful they have been.
“Its too early to say, the program is just over a year old,” he said.
Most applicants come from the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, according to Kakivak.
Cousins describes Kakivak’s relationship with CanNor as “very close” and its request for the additional funding was approved within a couple months.
The fund is one of several programs operated by Kakivak and servicing a variety of Nunavut businesses.
The association approved approximately $2 million in grants last year, according to Cousins.
“Already proving to be successful, the Government of Canada is proud to be working in collaboration with the Kakivak Association to support small and medium Inuit-owned businesses to maximize economic opportunities and growth in Nunavut,” said Navdeep Bains, minister responsible for CanNor, in a July 8 press release.
“[Small and medium-sized enterprises] strengthen the local economy, create jobs for Nunavummiut, and help diversify the northern economy.”