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Nunavut government announces $5K relief grant for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

Small businesses in Nunavut can now apply for a one-time grant from the territorial government of up to $5,000 — a response from the government to try and help businesses suffering due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Territory announces short-term relief fund for artists, hunters, entrepreneurs

Economic Development Minister David Akeeagok says new money for small businesses will be paid out as soon as possible. (Beth Brown/CBC)

Small businesses in Nunavut can now apply for a one-time grant from the territorial government of up to $5,000 — a response from the government to try and help businesses suffering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic Development Minister David Akeeagok announced the new support funding on March 27. The money will be provided by the territory's existing small business support program.

The funds will offer "immediate short-term relief" to businesses and entrepreneurs who have lost their source of income following pandemic-related closures, Akeeagok said.

For the purposes of the grant, small businesses are defined as any business that makes less than $500,000 in gross sales each year, or that has fewer than 10 employees.

The grant is also available to Nunavut artists and craftpersons who make all or most of their income through their own product sales, and to harvesters who make all or most of their income through hunting or fishing through commercial quotas.

Akeeagok said the funds are to be paid out to applicants as soon as possible.

"We really want to help, because as we understand, most of these artists and most of these small businesses are going from paycheque to paycheque."

Prospective applicants can apply on the Government of Nunavut's website, or by contacting a staffer who works at their regional Economic Development office.

The department also said most of the federal funding announced recently to support hunters and trappers organizations has already been paid out to communities.

"We do realize the urgency of the situation and are wanting to get money directly to the people who need it," said Cate Macleod, press secretary for the premier.