Community Opportunity Readiness Program (CORP) - Program Guidelines

Effective: April 1, 2014

Objectives and Results

The Community Opportunities Readiness Program (CORP) provides project-based funding for First Nation and Inuit Communities for a range of activities to support communities' pursuit of economic opportunities. Where First Nation and Inuit communities, or their representative organizations, identify opportunities and lack the financial resources to pursue them, the CORP will allow them to submit proposals to seek additional funding.

The CORP is expected to increase economic development by providing proposal based financial support to First Nation and Inuit Communities to assist in their pursuit of, and participation in, economic opportunities. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) assesses proposals based on their immediate or future ability to attract private sector funding and on their community economic impacts, and supports projects that will leverage the most from other funding sources, including the private sector, and that will have the greatest impact on their community.

The expected results of the CORP align with the long-term objective of which is for First Nation and Inuit communities to implement economic and business development opportunities, while leveraging private sector funding and opportunities.

Eligible Recipients

"Eligible recipients" are:

  1. First Nation and Inuit communities and their governments, including Tribal Councils;
  2. Organizations and associations controlled by First Nation and Inuit communities, except for those with charitable or religious purposes;
  3. Non-Aboriginal organizations and associations, except for those with charitable or religious purposes, who plan to provide economic development services for the benefit of First Nation and Inuit communities;
  4. The Province of Ontario, in relation to the Canada-Ontario Resource Development Agreement; and,
  5. The Minister may, in exceptional circumstances, make contributions with respect to Aboriginal Business Development to other recipients for projects having a significant impact on First Nation and Inuit Business Development.

Note:

Any non-aboriginal organization or association seeking financial assistance under the CORP will require approval from the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board (NAEBD), prior to AANDC project approval.

Eligible Projects

Eligible initiatives under the CORP include:

  1. Support to pursue economic opportunities
    • An economic opportunity is defined as an opportunity that has the reasonable potential of generating incremental community economic benefits (employment, training, creation/expansion or contracts to local businesses, government revenues, community infrastructure, etc.).
  2. Support for Community Economic Infrastructure development not related to a specific eligible business
    • Community Economic Infrastructure usually refers to a set of fixed structures with the following characteristics: long-term useful lives, whose creation involves a considerable development period, that have no short- to medium-term substitutes and support the activation of the community's economic assets (land, natural resources, human resources and capital) and the production of goods and services.
  3. Support for the establishment, acquisition or expansion of a community owned business where there is an equity gap
    • Equity gap funding provides financial support, in response to proposals, for viable, community-owned businesses where there is an equity gap. Equity gap is the amount of money needed to finance a business after all other funding sources have contributed their maximum. An equity gap funding does not replace the requirement for business proponents to provide their own equity funding or to replace any other programs currently available; it completes a financing package where no other financing can be obtained. The financial support enables a business to obtain conventional debt financing to carry out a viable business plan for a business start-up, expansion and/or acquisition.
  4. Support for business planning, advisory services and training, commercial development and market development for a single community-owned business

Specific Considerations for Business Development Proposals

For CORP proposals seeking financial support for planning or advisory services (soft costs) for a community-owned business, such as business plans, feasibility studies, engineering/architectural designs, marketing or product development strategies, legal costs, environmental costs, etc., the applicant should submit their CORP proposal to AANDC. However, since Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFI) have the authority to receive and fund community proposals up to $250,000, the applicant community has the flexibility to submit their application to an AFI. In either case, the AANDC regional office should be made aware of all community business development proposals, especially those that will lead to an application for the capitalization of a community business, and for which a proposal seeking more than $250,000 will ultimately be submitted to an AANDC regional office.

For capital costs related to the start-up, acquisition or expansion or a community business, if the amount of financial support requested is greater than $250,000, First Nation and Inuit communities are expected to submit their proposal to their AANDC regional office. If the amount requested is below $250,000, communities will be required to submit their applications to the AFI serving their respective territory. For a list of AFIs, please refer to the list below.

CORP Summary Table

Eligible Projects Where to apply Maximum Funding ($) Maximum Funding (%) Examples (not limited to)
Economic Opportunities CORP $3,000,000 80%
  • Feasibility studies and business plans (not specific to a single business)
  • Economic Impact Assessments
  • Pre-negotiation planning;
  • Development and implementation of negotiation partnerships
  • Identification of opportunities
  • Development of promotional strategies (including community consensus)
  • Activities and products to promote First Nation participation in economy
  • Removal of economic barriers
Community Economic Infrastructure CORP $3,000,000 66.67%
  • Water supply and treatment systems
  • Sewer and waste collection or disposal systems
  • Electrical and energy systems
  • Fuel storage and distribution systems
  • Community roads and sidewalks
  • Curbs, culverts, ditches and signs
  • Ferry transportation, marinas, buses, boats and floats
  • Airstrips and wharves/docks
Equity Gap > 250k, CORP
< 250k, AFI
$1,000,000 30% (acquisitions expansions)
40% (start-ups)
  • Costs related to the establishment, acquisition or expansion of a community-owned business
Business Planning and Advisory Services CORP / AFI $250,000 80%
  • Feasibility studies and business plans for a specific business;
  • Business advisory services including, but not limited to:
    • Legal and accounting
    • Licenses, permits, regulations and registrations
    • Export/Import
    • Patents, copyrights and trademarks
    • Mentoring and networking
    • Training initiatives
  • Commercial development
  • Marketing development

Eligible Expenditures

"Eligible expenditures" in relation to "eligible projects" include:

  1. Project specific salaries, wages, and benefits;
  2. Travel;
  3. Overhead, including, but not limited to, rent, utilities, supplies, minor repairs and maintenance, accounting and audit services, and insurance;
  4. Minor machinery and equipment;
  5. Communications, including, but not limited to, development of content, translation, dissemination, advertising, and signage;
  6. Professional, consulting, advisory, and other services, including fees, transportation, meals, accommodations, and allowances, and report production;
  7. Land surveys and appraisals;
  8. Feasibility studies, marketing, advertising, and promotion;
  9. Costs related to economic infrastructure including, but not limited to, planning, design, identification, capitalization, and acquisition of rights and rights-of-way; and,
  10. Capital costs relating to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, or modernization of a First Nation and Inuit business.

Ineligible expenditures include:

  1. Payments for services that would normally be provided without charge (e.g. honoraria for a community service);
  2. The operation, repair, and maintenance of economic or municipal infrastructure;
  3. Economic infrastructure which has a reasonable expectation of capturing capital and operating costs through user fees and other means and can function as a commercial enterprise;
  4. Costs for services provided by a federal or provincial government;
  5. Community infrastructure development unrelated to the development or expansion of commercial enterprise, such as public office buildings, recreation and friendship centers, gaming houses, and public halls;
  6. Replacement of assets;
  7. Creating or improving telecommunications infrastructure;
  8. Costs related to sexually exploitative activities; and,
  9. Passive investments in real estate or any other activity where the recipient is not fully involved.

Application Requirements

Application requirements include, but are not limited to the following project information:

The application must be complete, and in detail in keeping with the level of funding being sought. Applicants may submit a brief Statement of Intent prior to submitting a full application. After reviewing the Statement of Intent, AANDC will indicate whether the project meets program criteria, and will advise the applicant on the development of the full application.

Project Assessment Criteria

Project assessments will be based on the following criteria:

  1. The project or activity has the potential for leveraging private sector funding and generating net economic benefits to First Nation and Inuit communities;
  2. The demonstrated management capacity and business expertise of the eligible recipient in relation to the project;
  3. The ability of the eligible recipient to obtain commercial financing for the project;
  4. The amount of any federal, provincial or municipal assistance or tax credit that is likely to be relevant to the project;
  5. The resources of the eligible recipient that could reasonably be expected to be contributed to the project;
  6. The probable cost of each job likely to be created or maintained for a First Nation and Inuit community person as a result of the proposed project;
  7. The recipient has demonstrated that the assistance is necessary to ensure that the project or activity proceeds with the desired scope and timing in the desired location;
  8. The probable impact of the proposed project on other commercial operations;
  9. The long-term viability of the proposed business opportunity;
  10. The impact of the proposed project on the environment;
  11. The relationship of the project to federal government national and regional economic strategies and priorities; and,
  12. Any other criteria that the Minister may deem appropriate.

Project Approval Criteria

Project approvals will be based on the following criteria:

  1. The applicant must meet all requirements of an "eligible recipient";
  2. The project must meet all requirements of an "eligible project";
  3. Project expenditures to be funded by AANDC must be "eligible expenditures";
  4. All eligible expenditures for goods and services are done so at fair market value;
  5. The application must be complete and in sufficient detail commensurate with the level of funding being sought;
  6. The applicant must contribute a minimum 10 percent cash contribution for all types of projects;
  7. The proposed project must generate community economic benefits that exceed AANDC contributions by a minimum ratio of 5:1.
  8. Community economic benefits normally include one or more of the following:
    1. Community employment (full-time, part-time and seasonal);
    2. Training of community members;
    3. Contracts and purchases from community and member businesses;
    4. Community business start-ups and expansions;
    5. Community government revenues; and
    6. Community infrastructure.
  9. Any conflicts between the proposed project and a specific or comprehensive claim have been adequately addressed;
  10. Projects which would bring the CORP into disrepute should not be approved;
  11. "Eligible recipients" are in compliance with AANDC's Management Control Framework regarding audits, reporting, and other matters.

Funding Levels

Assistance will be commensurate with assessment of the risk involved, the resources of the recipient, and the benefit to the First Nation and Inuit community. Assistance will generally be determined on the basis that the amount and level of funding are the minimum required to ensure that the project can proceed. Assistance will be provided only to those initiatives that, in the opinion of the Minister, would not otherwise proceed in the proposed location, proposed scope, or proposed time without such assistance.

AANDC will determine funding levels for approved eligible projects using the following criteria:

  1. Funding will not exceed $3,000,000 for economic opportunities or community economic infrastructure projects ;
  2. Funding will not exceed $1,000,000 for capital costs related to the establishment, acquisition or expansion of a community-owned business;
  3. AANDC funding will not exceed $250,000 for planning (soft costs) and business advisory services, including market/product development projects;
  4. AANDC funding will not exceed 66.67 per cent of the total eligible project cost for community economic infrastructure projects;
  5. AANDC funding will not exceed 30 per cent (acquisitions and expansions) or 40 per cent (start-up) of eligible costs for equity gap funding for the establishment, acquisition or expansion of a community-owned business;
  6. AANDC funding will not exceed 80 per cent of the total eligible project cost for all other projects;
  7. AANDC's funding will be directly related to the community economic benefits for First Nation and Inuit communities; and
  8. AANDC's funding will be limited to the need for funding that has been demonstrated by the eligible recipient.

Funding limits are per project, not per recipient. The stacking limit maximum level of funding to a recipient from all sources (including federal, provincial/territorial, and/or municipal) for any one activity, initiative, or project is 100 per cent of eligible costs.

Reporting Requirements

Recipients will be requested to submit data, schedules, plans, and reports in sufficient detail to enable AANDC to:

A monitoring plan will be developed for each project. The purpose of the monitoring plan will be to provide periodic information regarding the progress of the initiative against the milestones proposed in the application and to identify unanticipated risks or impediments to achieving intended results. The proposed level of monitoring will correspond to the level of risk associated with the project.

Reporting requirements will be determined by AANDC for each project or initiative. Progress and financial reports will be required at a minimum on an annual basis by recipients. Recipients will also be required to submit a final report at the conclusion of a project, in accordance with the terms of the funding arrangements. In addition to year (or project) end reporting, proponents may be required to report on performance indicators (e.g. job creation, government revenues, etc.) for specific projects funded in previous years via their annual Community Profile Report (Section D).

Key Contacts

Community Opportunity Readiness Program (CORP)

Atlantic

Sarah Hechavarria
1505 Barrington Street, 5th Floor
Halifax NS B3J 3K5
Telephone: (902) 426-0656
Fax: (902) 426-0665

Québec

Stéphane Greffard
320 St-Joseph St East Room 400,
Place Jacques Cartier Complex
Quebec Quebec G1K 9J2
Telephone: (418) 951-2281
Fax: (418) 648-3930

Ontario

Chad Aramburo
25 St. Clair Avenue East, 8th Floor
Toronto, ON M4T 1M2
Telephone: (416) 973-6214
Fax: (416) 954-3189

Manitoba

Dustin Remillard
365 Hargrave Street, Suite 200
Winnipeg, MB R3B 3A3,
Telephone: (204) 984-3502
Fax: (204) 983-2936

Saskatchewan

Tara Acoose
1827 Albert Avenue
Regina SK S4P 2S9
Telephone: (306) 502-3964
Fax: (306) 780-6128
Email: aadnc.skecdev.aandc@canada.ca

Alberta

Derek Green
630 Canada Place
9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 4G2
Telephone: (780) 495-2787
Fax: (780) 495-4088

British Columbia

Tracy Dunsford
1138 Melville St, Suite 600
Vancouver, BC V6E 4S3
Telephone: (604) 666-5097
Fax: (604) 775-7149

Aboriginal Financial Institutions

Atlantic

Ulnooweg Development Group Inc.
835 Willow Street
P.O. Box 1259
Truro NS B2N 5N2
Telephone: (902) 893-7379
Fax: (902) 893-0353
Email: info@ulnooweg.ca
Web: Ulnooweg Development Group Inc.

Québec

Tewatohnhi'saktha Business Loan Fund Ltd.
P.O. Box 1110
Kahnawake QC J0L 1B0
Telephone: (450) 638-4280
Fax: (450) 638-3276
Email: Keda@mck.ca

Corporation de développement économique montagnaise (CDEM)
Suite 110
1005 Laure Blvd.
Sept-Îles QC G4R 4S6
Toll-free: 1 800-463-2216
Telephone: (418) 968-1246
Fax: (418) 962-2449
Email: info@cdem.ca

Société de crédit commercial autochtone (SOCCA)
2936, Faune Street
Suite 200
Wendake QC G0A 4V0
Telephone: (418) 842-0972
Fax: (418) 842-8925
Email: administration@socca.qc.ca
Web: Société de crédit commercial autochtone (SOCCA)

Ontario

Waubetek Business Development Corporation
General Delivery
Whitefish River Community Centre
Birch Island ON P0P 1A0
Telephone: (705) 285-4275
Fax: (705) 285-4584
Email: waubetek@waubetek.com
Web: Waubetek Business Development Corporation

Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF)
106 Centennial Square, 2nd Floor
Thunder Bay ON P7E 1H3
Telephone: (807) 623-5397
Fax: (807) 622-8271
Email: gbuoncore@nadf.com
Web: Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF)

Manitoba

Louis Riel Capital Corporation (LRCC)
Floor 3, suite 340
150 Henry Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3B 0J7
Telephone: (204) 589-0772
Fax: (204) 589-0791
Email: lrcc@mmf.mb.ca
Web: Louis Riel Capital Corporation (LRCC)

First Peoples Economic Growth Fund (FPEGF)
315 – 260 St. Mary Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0M6
Telephone: (204) 942-6026
Toll free: 1-888-942-6026
Fax: (204) 942-6441
Email: info@firstpeoplesfund.ca

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation Inc. (SIEF)
202A Joseph Okemasis Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 1B1
Telephone: (306) 955-8570
Fax: (306) 373-1969
Email: info@sief.sk.ca
Web: Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation Inc. (SIEF)

SaskMétis Economic Development Corporation (SMEDCO)
1630 Quebec Avenue
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1V7
Telephone: (306) 477-4350
Fax: (306) 373-2512
Email: smedco@smedco.ca
Web: SaskMétis Economic Development Corporation (SMEDCO)

Alberta

Apeetogosan (Metis) Development Inc. (AMDI)
Suite 302
12308 111 Avenue NW
Edmonton AB T5M 2N4
Toll-free: 1 800-252-7963
Telephone: (780) 452-7951
Fax: (780) 454-5997
Email: office@apeetogosan.ab.ca
Web: Apeetogosan (Metis) Development Inc. (AMDI)

British Columbia

Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC)
7563 Pacific Rim Highway
Port Alberni BC V9Y 7M2
Telephone: (250) 724-3131
Fax: (250) 724-9967
Email: nedc@nedc.info
Web: Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC)

Tale'awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation (TACC)
Suite 508, 100 Park Royal South
West Vancouver, BC V7T 1A2
Toll Free: 1-800-779-7199
Telephone: (604) 926-5626
Fax: (604) 926-5627
Email: info@tacc.ca
Web: Tale'awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation (TACC)

All Nations Development Corporation
520 Chief Eli LaRue Way
Kamloops, BC V2H 1H1
Telephone: (250) 828-9770
Fax: (250) 372-2585
Email: antco@antco.bc.ca
Web: All Nations Development Corporation

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