The Economic Development Department is responsible for reviewing business proposals and negotiating business contracts for the band to determine if businesses are viable. The Department also assists in obtaining funding for band members and the band.
The department offers assistance to entrepreneurs with business plans (pays up to 25 per cent of the total cost of the business plan) and obtain financing from Aboriginal Business Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada and Ulnooweg Development Group. The 3 types are:
This is a program to teach crafts people within the cottage industry on how to do remedial bookkeeping. The amount of money varies but the Economic Development Officer tries to keep the contribution around $250. The craft person will be asked what material they purchased, what they made as well as how much money they have made.
This program assists band members who are interested in going into business. The band provides ten per cent of the total cost up to $5,000 to a financial institution on behalf of the borrower. This will allow band members to borrow up to $50,000 from a lending institution to start up and run their businesses.
Band Small Ventures
This program provides access to business services including business assistance (in Nova Scotia) and helps to identify requirements for specialized equipment. Band members residing in Nova Scotia with aspirations of running their own business and are seeking funds under $1000 will be reimbursed at 50 per cent of the total cost (this means the maximum can be $500 paid by the band so long as the band member has receipts).
Entrepreneurs who meet the following basic criteria may be considered for support through the Economic Development program if they:
- Have been unsuccessful in acquiring equipment for business from other sources.
- Are unemployed individuals and social assistance recipients.
The program provides band members who are unable to obtain financing from a traditional financial institution access to business loans.