SEED Program to Help Businesses Pivot in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

News Releases

Yellowknife — June 17, 2020

Northwest Territories businesses making investments to align with the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) Emerging Wisely Plan can now apply to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI)’s Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Program for funding.

As restrictions are eased by the Chief Public Health Officer, and in keeping with the spirit of flexibility, the SEED program can now be accessed to cover costs to businesses such as:

·       Structural changes required to protect employees (i.e. plexiglas shields);

·       Capital improvements (i.e. drive through windows or outdoor patios for restaurants);

·       Investments related to shifting operations online; and

·       The purchase of personal protective equipment for employees.


Businesses that have already made such investments on their own will be permitted to apply for a portion of this investment, retroactive to April 1, 2020.

Applications should clearly demonstrate financial need and the need for the proposed improvements in order to open and function properly.

The remaining elements of the existing SEED policy - including funding maximums - remain in place. Funding proposals will still need to be forward-looking and include a viable business case.



“We have stated from the outset that our programming will be flexible. We have listened to the concerns of businesses and are prepared to offer support and do what we can to help businesses operate in the post-COVID environment. Together with the federal government, we continue to offer support that is forward-looking and aimed at helping our economy to recover.”

-Katrina Nokleby, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment


Quick Facts

·       The 2020-21 SEED budget approved by Members of the Legislative Assembly in the 2020-21 Interim Appropriation totals $3.86 million. ITI has increased this budget to $4 million through a reallocation of internal resources.

·       In 2018-19, the SEED program resulted in an average of one dollar of expenditure translating into $1.6 additional GDP.


Related Links

·       Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development

·       Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses

·       2020-21 SEED Program Guideline for the COVID-19 Response



Media contact

Drew Williams

Industry, Tourism and Investment

Government of the Northwest Territories

Tel: 1-867-767-9202 (ext: 63037)

Cel: 1-867-445-3739