REGINA — The Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation (SIIFC) is now taking applications from First Nations and Métis communities and organizations interested in investing in the province's natural resource and value-added agriculture sectors.
The SIIFC will offer up to $75 million in loan guarantees to eligible applicants which will support Indigenous-equity ownership of major projects in mining, energy, oil and gas, forestry and value-added agriculture.
In discussions with Indigenous business and community leaders and major resource development companies, a lack of access to capital was identified as a key barrier to increasing Indigenous equity participation in natural resource and value-added agriculture projects, according to an SIIFC press release. The SIIFC is offering minimum loan guarantees of $5 million.
"Based on the number of enquiries we have already received, we anticipate high demand for the loan guarantees offered through SIIFC," SIIFC CEO Matt Smith said. "Indigenous communities have long been asking for support to help facilitate their investment in natural resource development projects, and the SIIFC will do just that."
The Ministry of Trade and Export Development has launched a new website for the SIIFC that has information about the program and the application process for prospective applicants www.siifc.ca.