Ten Years Serving NWT Businesses
The Northwest Territories Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) is a GNWT crown corporation dedicated to providing business information and financial assistance to businesses operating in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The BDIC was created on April 1st, 2005, replacing the former NWT Business Credit Corporation and NWT Development Corporation with a mandate to support businesses and economic development across the NWT. In its first decade of operations, the BDIC has served thousands of businesspeople and approved over $70 million in financial assistance.
Investing in Businesses
Through its financial programs, the BDIC serves businesses across the NWT, including businesses located in communities with no bank and businesses that are unable to obtain financing from other lenders. The BDIC acts as a lender of last resort and helps these businesses move projects forward by offering standby letters of credit, working capital guarantees, and business loans with flexible terms.
- In ten years, the BDIC has approved over 400 financial program applications and over $70 million in financial assistance for NWT businesses
Contributing to Success
The BDIC’s Business Development Project Fund (BDPF) has seen a tenfold increase in uptake since 2005/2006. The non-repayable contribution is available to entrepreneurs looking to fund their start-up expenses, expand operations, purchase raw materials for arts and craft production or harvesting, or carry out short term projects that create employment. BDPF Aftercare funding is also available to those looking to purchase accounting software, take an accredited business or accounting course, obtain succession planning advice, or for travel costs to attend educational seminars promoted by the BDIC.
- The BDIC has approved over 200 BDPF clients and over $1.6 million in BDPF funding
Over the last ten years, the BDIC has worked to steadily improve its lending practices and increase the health of its loan portfolio. Since inheriting the loan portfolio of the Business Credit Corporation in 2005, the BDIC has reduced its loan loss provision by more than one quarter, bringing it to under 15% of the BDIC’s total portfolio.
The BDIC’s loan portfolio performs well compared to similar economic development organizations. The BDIC’s loan loss provision at Q3 of 2014/2015 was lower than that of several comparable organizations across Canada.
BIC: Newfoundland Business Investment Corporation
NSBI: Nova Scotia Business Inc.
CEDF: Manitoba Community Economic Development Fund
IIDI: PEI Island Investment Development Inc.
BDIC: NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation
IQ: Investissement Québec
Through its Subsidiary program, the BDIC has undertaken a direct effort to create jobs in NWT communities where remoteness and other obstacles often leave residents with few employment opportunities. The BDIC draws on local traditions, skills, and resources to establish subsidiary companies in these communities while giving residents the tools and training needed to gain employment skills and grow the subsidiaries into sustainable enterprises. The Rae Lakes General Store and the Nahanni Butte General Store are two BDIC subsidiaries that have been successfully divested back to their communities.
- The BDIC’s subsidiaries have created or maintained over 210 jobs in the NWT, have paid over $6.4 million in salaries to NWT employees, and support over 100 cottage craft producers each year
The BDIC markets the products of its active subsidiaries through the Arctic Canada Trading Company, and subsidiary products are sold in every province and territory in Canada, as well as internationally.
- More than 50 galleries and gift shops across Canada carry the BDIC’s subsidiary products.
More videos highlighting the BDIC’s subsidiaries and their authentic northern products can be found here.
Through its Venture Investment Program, the BDIC manages long term investments in NWT companies by purchasing preferred shares carrying annual dividends. When ready, companies redeem their shares by buying them back from the BDIC. Since 2006, seven companies have fully redeemed their shares:
Tli Cho Cooperative Ltd. – 2006
F.C. Services Ltd. – 2006
ADK Petroleum Partnership – 2006
Red Dog Mountain Contracting Ltd. – 2007
Rat River Development Corporation – 2010
Two Rivers Development Group Ltd. – 2012
Enodah Wilderness Travel Ltd. – 2015
- The BDIC’s venture investments have created or maintained over 420 jobs in the NWT, and have paid over $7.4 million in salaries to NWT employees
Investing in Communities
The BDIC is a hub for up-to-date and accurate information about business programs, services, and regulations in all 33 NWT communities. Over the past 10 years the BDIC has expanded its services through Canada Business NWT both online and through regional access sites to better engage clients in remote communities. The BDIC’s website now hosts a comprehensive Online Business Library, a guide on How to Start a Business in the NWT, and a calendar of upcoming Video Conferencing Seminars, among other resources. Canada Business NWT is operated by the BDIC in partnership with the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and Industry Canada.
- Canada Business NWT has answered over 3,300 inquiries from NWT business people, and over 1,000 participants have taken part in the BDIC’s video conferencing seminars
Together with its northern partners, the BDIC hosts the biannual Northern Economic Development Practitioners (NEDP) Conference. The conference includes presentations, workshops, panel discussions, and networking for economic development practitioners from across the territory. NEDP is a place for these professionals to gain awareness of available programs and knowledge of the best practices in their field so they can better serve the NWT business community.
- Over the years, more than 450 economic development practitioners have attended NEDP conferences