Indigenous Business COVID-19 Response Taskforce Launches New Research Findings

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Toronto, ON, June 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A survey led by the Indigenous Business COVID-19 Response Taskforce has found an urgent need for additional liquidity financing and support services for Indigenous businesses. When asked how long their business could continue to operate if no further supports were made available, just under half (44%) of Indigenous businesses indicated that, without support, they were likely to fail after 3-6 months. 10% of businesses predicted operations could not last more than a month without support, and 2% indicated that the business had already closed.

The Indigenous Business COVID-19 Response Taskforce brings together the leadership of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis organizations to provide the Government of Canada with a single, unified Indigenous business voice during this time of crisis. Indigenous Services Canada is a participant in the Taskforce. The Taskforce’s mandate is to provide analysis on the effects of COVID-19 to help ensure the availability of appropriate government support measures for Indigenous business and communities and to mobilize the Indigenous supply chain to participate in the calls for medical supplies and equipment.

“Sound research is crucial to ensuring that Indigenous businesses get the resources they need to continue to support their families, communities and the broader Canadian economy,” said Samantha Morton, Director of Research, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “As the economy continues to evolve and we move towards economic recovery, we recommend further study to understand the shifting impacts and needs of Indigenous businesses across Canada.”

The survey of 838 Indigenous business owners and executives was conducted between April and May 2020 and supported by Indigenous Services Canada. It also reveals that the effects have not been felt evenly across the Indigenous business community. The data shows that 61% of Indigenous women-owned businesses report a ‘very negative’ outcome compared to 53% of businesses owned by men. 38% of Inuit-owned businesses experienced a revenue drop of 50% or more, compared to 27% of Métis and 31% of First Nations-owned businesses. View Key Findings for detailed survey results.

Also launched today is a national database of Indigenous companies able to supply COVID-19 related goods for Government of Canada buyers to increase representation in federal government supply chains. Data shows that 12% of Indigenous businesses surveyed can provide supplies or equipment that could meet Canada’s medical needs or rapidly scale up/pivot production to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (8%). Development of the database was completed by Acosys Consulting Services, a Certified Aboriginal Business. Supported by Indigenous Services Canada, the database remains fully independent and is overseen by members of the Taskforce.

“Through this unprecedented collaboration, we hope to see an increase in Indigenous representation in government procurement,” said the members of the Indigenous Business COVID-19 Response Taskforce. “Moving forward, we call on the federal government to develop and implement a proactive procurement strategy to directly engage Indigenous businesses that can supply or pivot to supply PPE.”

Indigenous Business COVID-19 Response Taskforce Members:

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