The Aboriginal Business Professional Association (ABPA) held a webinar on Our Fair Share: Helping Indigenous Business Access COVID-19 Relief Funds featuring guest speaker Brian Davey.
“It went fantastic — great questions, people were very interested,” says Davey, executive director of NADF and board member with ABPA. “In a very short period of time we got out a lot of information. I hope it’s enough information that sticks (so) people take away what they need to know to move forward.”
Davey says one of the key points that participants were asking about was what to submit when accessing COVID-19 relief funds through NADF.
“I think they were happy to know that we’re not looking for something that is overwhelming,” Davey says. “We’re looking for something that is fairly simple like a cashflow statement, what are your fixed costs going forward and some basic information on your business. If you have financials, great, include them. It shouldn’t be any more complicated than that — if the need is there it needs to be responded to right away.”
Davey also spoke about an NADF program that Indigenous businesses can use right away until the federal government’s $306.8 million Indigenous COVID-19 relief funds are ready to be administered through the National Aboriginal
Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.
“As we learned that more time was required to launch the larger NACCA stimulus program, that’s like late May-early June, what can we do now to bridge the need that’s out there right now,” Davey says. “NADF responded with a smaller program called the Emergency Loan Fund program that takes care of that gap.”
The 30-minute webinar featured information on navigating federal government funding for Indigenous business in northern Ontario during COVID-19 as well as questions from webinar participants. The webinar is posted online at: zoom.us/rec/share/9Px7dJfQxHtJRKvwz1OGWah5TtrdT6a80XNMrqUIyE7ZxtcikzZUrIizVmWF0wWm.
“We had a really good turnout for our lead series of the Roots and Resilience webinar, Our Fair Share: Helping Indigenous Business Access COVID-19 Relief Funds in northern Ontario,” says Jason Rasevych, president and co-founding member of the ABPA. “A lot of the individual (participants) had a lot of great questions and Brian Davey really led off and hit it out of the park for us with the presentation.”
Rasevych says it is important to utilize innovation and technology to engage members of the ABPA and other interested people across northern Ontario.
“In our area of the treaty areas, stretching from North Bay to the Manitoba border, we can’t always be resourced to be holding events every month,” Rasevych says. “So it’s important we do our best job to hold conferences and
workshops when we can, where we can in our areas. The webinar series allows us to utilize that platform to reach as many people as we can without being there physically and in person, and we look forward to utilizing this platform in
the future in various ways.”
Rasevych says upcoming webinars will cover a range of issues, including financing and pandemic planning for Indigenous business. He encourages people who are interested in the upcoming webinars to subscribe to the ABPA e-mail list by visiting the ABPA website at: www.anishnawbebusiness.com/
“The best way is to become a member of the association,” Rasevych says. “People can sign up for a membership online — it’s an easy form to fill out and become a member.”
The ABPA is a non-profit, member-based organization located in Thunder Bay that serves the First Nation business community.