Commerce and Industry Funding

The Cree Nation Government's Department of Commerce & Industry team continues to serve all clientele during this pandemic crisis. They are doing their part by practicing social distancing, but rest assured the team are working full time and can be reached by email or phone to help the businesses of Eeyou Istchee during these unprecedented times.

Commerce and Industry Funds

The Department of Commerce and Industry would like to inform all existing and aspiring entrepreneurs of Eeyou Istchee that they continue to provide their programs to assist on starting or expanding their company during this COVID-19 crisis.

There are four main funding areas that are available at this time:

  1. Cree Entrepreneurship Assistance Fund (CEAF)
  2. Regional Development Fund (RDF)
  3. Social Economy (CSERT)
  4. The Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des regions (FARR)

Cree Entrepreneurship Assistance Fund (CEAF) 

  • Grant program​
  • Start-up or expansion projects​
  • Type of projects: small to medium size businesses​
  • 25% of the total cost of the project or up to $100,000 (max)​
  • Technical support and assistance in completing funding with other partners

Regional Development Fund (RDF)

  • Grant program​
  • Type of projects: regional-based, community-based, bigger projects​
  • 50% for-profit projects, and 80% not-for-profit projects or up to $1,000,000​
  • Ex: business center building, usually close to or over $1,000,000 projects​

Social Economy (CSERT)

  • Grant Program​
  • Small to medium size projects, usually local projects, people-centered ​
  • Social economy projects and businesses serve its members or the community, instead of simply striving for financial profit​
  • $5,000 to $50,000​
  • Ex: community radio stations, Chisasibi co-op store, community daycare centres, Wemindji Traditional Skill Group

The Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des regions (FARR) (Regional Outreach Fund)

  • Grants up to 80% for projects addressing regional priorities​:
  • Development and implementation of a strategic housing plan to find tangible solutions to the housing shortage and poor living conditions in our communities​​
  • Raising economic and employment activity through the private sector​​
  • Supporting Cree-owned businesses​​
  • Developing the workforce​​
  • Fostering connections and partnerships within Eeyou Istchee​​
  • Tying economic development with nation-building​


Business Assistance

Lastly, Commerce and Industry are aiding businesses that are affected by COVID-19. By doing this they are guiding entrepreneurs which assistance programs are best suited for their circumstances. Therefore, if any business owner needs help accessing information or application forms for provincial and/or federal financial assistance programs, please feel free to contact them.

You can reach them at 1 844 387-4296.

Thank you and stay safe!