GNWT offers more support programs for NWT small and medium businesses

News Releases

Yellowknife — February 23, 2022

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI), Caroline Wawzonek, is pleased to announce further increased supports for small and medium businesses across the Northwest Territories (NWT).

Since March 2020, the GNWT has been supporting entrepreneurs and businesses through diverse and flexible programming, assisting businesses with costs such as rent, utilities, and bookkeeping.

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.

The GNWT recognizes that there is still a need to assist businesses. Effective February 23, 2022, businesses can access up to $5,000 to offset losses that may have been incurred through cancelled bookings and closures, retroactive to January 7, 2022. This new program will remain in effect until March 31, 2022 or until the allocated funding is spent.

Further, in October 2021, up to $5,000 was initially offered to businesses impacted by the gathering limitations order under the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO), anticipated to be a short-term measure to cover fixed costs such as rent and utilities. As the limitations continued, the program offered an increase of up to $12,500. While the restrictions have been gradually easing, businesses still require additional support.  Effective February 23, 2022 that funding for this initiative will be increased to $25,000.    


“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. These businesses have had to be resilient and adaptive throughout these past two years, to keep both their employees and customers safe while still being able to stay in business. The GNWT will continue to offer important supports and flexible programs and policies for small and medium businesses to ensure they are able to continue to operate in a territory that values and celebrates them.” 

- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Quick facts

  • ITI has introduced the SEED Ministerial Directive for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 fiscal years to directly respond to the impacts of the pandemic.
  • One of the core strengths of the existing SEED Policy is that it allows for flexibility and for regional offices to respond to local economic circumstances as well as unique opportunities within their region.

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For media requests, please contact:

Jacqueline McKinnon

Strategic Advisor

Industry, Tourism and Investment

Government of the Northwest Territories

767-9202 ext. 63039