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Indigenous firms face additional barriers to economic recovery

Pre-COVID, Indigenous enterprises were booming. A year later, they continue to face challenges accessing government support

In recent years, we have seen a resurgence in the Indigenous economy. There are close to 60,000 Indigenous businesses in Canada, operating in every sector, size and region, with Indigenous people creating businesses at nine times the rate of non-Indigenous Canadians.

Then, of course, COVID happened. The day we announced to our staff that I would be the new CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) was also the last day we all worked in the office together. On March 16, 2020 we began working remotely to help stop the spread of a new virus that had begun to sweep across the globe. Since then, I have seen businesses and communities pull together in formidable ways, but there’s no denying that the pandemic has been particularly hard on Indigenous businesses.

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