More supports and increases for NWT small and medium businesses

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Blog Entries

February 24, 2022


Small and medium businesses are critically important to the diversity of an economy. In the Northwest Territories, we have a wide range of businesses with both niche and broad offerings, and we are lucky to have such a spectrum of products and services.

Over the past couple of years, they have had to be resilient and adaptive, to keep both their employees and customers safe while still being able to stay in business.

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) has provided these businesses with consistent support since the beginning of the pandemic. We have offered financial relief for such costs as rent, mortgage interest, utilities, and bookkeeping, and more varied supports when collaborating with our federal partners.

The Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Policy continues to assist NWT small and medium businesses to ensure they are positioned to participate in a post-COVID economic recovery.

Effective February 23, 2022, businesses can access up to $5,000 to offset losses that may have been incurred through cancelled bookings and closures directly related to stay-at-home orders issued by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO). Only those cancellations and closures that took place during the time period of the stay-at-home order will be considered. The new program is retroactive to January 7, 2022 and will remain in effect until March 31, 2022 or until the allocated funding is spent.

Also effective February 23 is an increase to the operational funding first introduced in September 2021. Building on the initial amount of $5,000 for short-term operational funding, followed by the October 2021 increase to $12,500, ITI understands that small to medium businesses continue to need additional and immediate support. Funding for this initiative has now been increased to $25,000, for those businesses continuing to be impacted by the effects of the pandemic.   

This fund provides a buffer for businesses to assist with operational costs. For example, if you, as a small or medium business received $5,000 from the September 2021 program, but nothing from the October program increase, you would be eligible for up to $20,000 under the current increase.


Eligible costs include:

  • Commercial rent;
  • Commercial mortgage;
  • Mortgage – principal and interest;
  • Utilities – heat, electric, water and sewer, phone and internet;
  • Subscriptions – ie, financial or booking systems;
  • Insurance; and,
  • Financing or lease payments for equipment.


September 24, 2021 – Operational support funding available for NWT businesses

October 29, 2021 – GNWT increases operational support funding


Make sure you check out the updated information at the link below.

Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED)