GNWT increases operational support funding for NWT businesses

News Releases

Yellowknife — October 29, 2021

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has amended the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Policy Directive and increased short-term operational funding for businesses to further support them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The maximum amount available to businesses for short-term operational funding has increased from $5,000 to $12,500. Additionally, as gathering limitations begin to relax and businesses welcome back customers, the SEED Policy Directive has been amended to include funding for equipment, training, and new technologies. This amended coverage specifically assists businesses with confirming customers’ Proof of Vaccine Credential (PVC).

The total amount of funding available for this initiative is $750,000 and will remain in effect until March 31 2022, as long as public gathering limitations are in place or until the allocated funding is spent. Applications will be evaluated under the SEED Policy.

While Northwest Territories’ tourism operators are considered small businesses, the GNWT has created targeted support programs to help them sustain and plan for eventual reopening. The programs available to tourism operators:

  • Pandemic Relief Extension Program (PREP)
  • The Tourism Relief Investment Program  (TRIP)
  • The Supplement for Tourism Accommodation Relief (STAR): available to accommodation providers with three or more rooms


“Recognizing that the territory’s small to medium business owners have been faced with significant challenges over the course of the pandemic, particularly in the last couple months, we hope that this increase in operational funding helps to support them as they slowly begin to welcome back customers and adapt to an evolving operating environment. The GNWT will continue to listen to the needs of businesses across the territory.”

- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Quick facts

  • In September 2021 the GNWT announced the SEED program, providing up to $5,000 to individual businesses impacted by gathering limitations. The funding aimed to cover ongoing operational costs such as rent and utilities for businesses that had experienced operating deficits since the outbreak in early August. To date, ITI has received more than 50 applications for the $5,000 operational support funding.
  • Over the past 18 months, ITI has provided more than $17 million specifically to support COVID-impacted small to medium businesses, including tourism operators.
  • In 2020, there were approximately 24,000 employees in the NWT, with nearly 30 per cent of them working in small businesses across the territory.

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For media requests, please contact:

Jacqueline McKinnon

Industry, Tourism and Investment

Government of the Northwest Territories

1-867-767-9202 ext. 63039