Northwest Territories COVID-19 Economic Relief

UPDATE: The BDIC is extending its payment deferment initiative
Always eager to support Northern businesses through difficult times, the BDIC is extending its payment deferral initiative to March 31st 2021 (inclusive). Clients who have a loan with the BDIC now have until February 24th, 2021 to submit a request.

BDIC Deferred Loan Payments

Clients (borrowers) of the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) can apply to have their loan repayments reduced or deferred until March 31, 2021 without penalty or additional interest charges. Regular interest will still be charged.

Clients will need to make their request by the 24th of the month prior to which they want to start their deferral period. The last date for such requests will be Feb. 24, 2021.


Businesses are automatically approved and not required to demonstrate financial hardship or impacts resulting from the COVID-19 crises.

To apply:

Send a letter (e-mail is acceptable) to your regional Department of Industry Tourism and Investment regional office stating that you want to reduce or suspend your payments and include the three month time period in which you need it to take effect.

(Note: Consistent with public health guidelines to self-isolate, applications can only be accepted via email.) Your application should be sent, by e-mail, to the appropriate ITI contact listed below:

Please Note:

Requests for payment reductions or deferments must be received by the ITI office no later than the 24th day of the month prior to the payment date.

Your ITI regional office will transmit all requests to the BDIC who will respond to you by email to confirm that your request has been received and processed.

Following the payment deferment or reduction period, existing loan payment schedules will resume along with existing terms and conditions.

Questions relating to this program can be directed to:

BDIC Working Capital Loans

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is offering low interest loans to NWT businesses through the NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) during the COVID-19 health pandemic. Applications to this initiative can now be made at any time, and loans will be processed as they are received.

Loans of up to $25,000 (or more if need is clearly addressed) are being made available to qualified businesses at a rate of 1.75%. Loans will be amortized for up to five years with options for payment deferment for 3 months upon request.

To qualify, you are required to provide:

  • Demonstration of financial need for a 30 – 60 day period due to cash flow issues resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, backed up by supporting documents such as:
    • Monthly expenses for the operation of your business for the next 30 days
    • Information which shows a change in revenues to your business within the last 60 days;
  • A completed loan application form;
  • A summary of other business relief that you have applied for or received due to COVID-19;
  • A valid Tourism Operator License if you are a Tourism Operator;
  • A copy of your valid driver’s license; and
  • A copy of your valid NWT business license.

*The personal credit of the owner will be considered as part of the loan review process and the business owner should be in good financial standing with all GNWT Departments.

If your business had only previously applied for a relief loan to cover 30 days of your operations, you may apply a second time for an extended period.

Loans are available to non-resident businesses that have made a meaningful investment in the NWT, have NWT employees, and support local businesses. It is incumbent upon non-resident businesses to demonstrate their investment in and support of the NWT economy.

To apply:

Download and complete the loan application form.

Submit your application form, with supporting documents, to your regional Department of Industry Tourism and Investment regional office.  Please ensure you demonstrate your need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOTE: NWT Businesses are encouraged to pursue loans under the federal government’s Canada Emergency Business Account and/or CanNor’s Northern Business Relief Fund. These programs can offer similar funding without requiring you to assume as much debt.   

Consistent with public health guidelines to self-isolate, applications can only be accepted via email. Your application and supporting documents should be sent, by e-mail, to the appropriate ITI contact listed below:

Please Note:

Priority will be given to businesses with fewer than 20 employees, but the GNWT will consider applications from businesses with up to 50 employees.

This initiative is considered as an initial response to the current crises. While loan applications should focus on cash flow requirements for 30 to 60 days, the GNWT is interested in hearing of the longer-term cash flow challenges facing NWT businesses, should the current crisis persist.

Questions relating to this initiative can be directed to:

Questions & Answers

BDIC – Working Capital Loans Initiative

  1. Is there a maximum amount businesses can apply for under the working capital loan?
  • To date, we have been trying to limit loans to $25,000; however, we are flexible in our assessments and businesses can receive more if their need is clearly demonstrated.
  • This initiative is intended to provide businesses with bridge financing for their working capital needs for a 1 to 2 month period.
  • Many small businesses will require far less than $25,000 and we will be approaching this process with the intention of helping as many small businesses as possible that are demonstrating substantial need.
  1. How will ITI prioritize loan applications to ensure disbursement is equitable?
  • Our assessments will be based on the financial need of businesses hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Right now our criteria is very flexible and we will review all applications and allocate money as fairly as we can.
  • With respect to businesses owned by non-residents, support will be contingent upon demonstrated investment in, and support of, the NWT economy.
  1. How long will the process take for a business to find out if they are approved?
  • Applicants should expect to have acknowledgement of their application within 2 business days and if successful, should receive the loan within 2-3 weeks.

BDIC Deferred Loan Payments:

  1. How long can businesses defer their payment, especially if the COVID-19 crisis continues throughout the summer?
  • Approved deferment of all BDIC loan payments will be for a as long as requested, but all deferral periods will conclude March 31, 2021. Requests can be made anytime between April 1, 2020 through February 24, 2021.