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Indigenous-led digital businesses receive $1.6M government boost to create jobs and support future growth

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, makes an announcement at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont., on Fri., Sept. 8, 2023. (CTV News/Christian D'Avino) The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, makes an announcement at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont., on Fri., Sept. 8, 2023. (CTV News/Christian D'Avino)
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The Government of Canada is investing $1.6 million to create new jobs and support the growth of two local Indigenous-led digital businesses.

On Friday, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced the funding from Georgian College in Barrie.

"Today's announcement celebrates the incredible potential of two Indigenous-led businesses, eSupply Canada and Biskane Inc. This support helps them grow and enables them to provide meaningful opportunities for Indigenous communities, entrepreneurs, and artists," Tassi stated.

eSupply Canada, an Indigenous-owned online distributor of office, janitorial, and small-scale industrial supplies, received more than $1.1 million to improve its online e-commerce platform to better support Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs across Canada.

"With our platform, Indigenous peoples will be better equipped to take full advantage of the government's and industry's commitments to economic reconciliation and supply chain diversity," said Steven Vanloffeld, eSupply Canada founder and CEO.

Biskane, which provides e-commerce support for Indigenous artists, business owners, suppliers, and vendors to market their arts, crafts, and products, received an investment of up to $500,000 from the federal government.

"It's been a long, hard story, but we're going to take hold of the present and make the future what we want it to be. This support for Biskane from FedDev Ontario will help us to develop new technology that will support supply chains and Indigenous businesses in our e-marketplace," added Chad Solomon, Biskane Inc. founder. "We're looking to help community artists feel validated for the authentic arts that they create and to create the trust for the general public."

The funding will help to add eight new jobs at eSupply Canada and seven to the workforce at Biskane, with both companies looking to hire from Georgian College in the future.

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