The federal government announced its 2021 budget this week, with two key areas of focus being business supports and entrepreneurship.
Supporting Underrepresented Entrepreneurs
In total, the government says it will invest in $146.9 million over four years to provide women entrepreneurs with greater financing, mentorship, and training.
Part of this funding will further support the Women Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Fund and the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.
Additionally, the government says it will work with financial institutions to develop a voluntary code to help support the inclusion of women and other underrepresented entrepreneurs as clients in the financial sector.
To read more about the supports for women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in other underrepresented groups, click here.
The summary of business-related supports in the budget includes:
- Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy – which helps businesses hit hard by COVID-19 pay their employees and rent.
- Extending the Canada Emergency Business Account – which provides interest-free, partially forgivable loans to small businesses, and forgives up to a third of businesses loans if repaid by December 31, 2022.
- Launching the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and Indigenous Business Initiatives – which aims to help Indigenous and rural businesses access the Canada Emergency Business Account.
- Introducing the Canada Recovery Hiring Program – which will help struggling businesses hire or keep employees.
- Making micro-grants available to help businesses and employees adapt to new technologies.
- Enhancing the Canadian Small Business Financing Program by expanding loan class eligibility, increasing the maximum loan amount from $350,000 to $500,000, expanding borrower eligibility to include non-profits and charities, and introducing a new line of credit product to help with liquidity or to cover short term needs.
- Lowering the cost of doing business by reducing credit card transaction fees.
- Removing barriers to internal trade.
- Providing aid to regional business relief agencies.
You can read more about the specifics of these programs here.
More information about the entire 2021 federal budget can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.