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Trudeau announces $221M business loan program for Black entrepreneurs

Ottawa unveils multi-million program to support Black entrepreneurs
WATCH: The federal government has created a $221-million business loan program to help Black entrepreneurs. Eric Sorensen reports on Ottawa's new plan to break down barriers.

The federal government is creating a new national program to help Black Canadians get business loans with national banks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Black Canadians and put a spotlight on inequality in Canada.

READ MORE: Black neighbourhoods in Toronto are hit hardest by COVID-19 — and it’s ‘anchored in racism’: experts

The total value of the program was pegged at $221 million over four years, with $93 million of that coming from the federal government and the rest from Canadian financial institutions.

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The new program will include $53 million for Black business organization to help entrepreneurs access funding, mentorship, financial planning and business training.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces Black Entrepreneurship Program
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces Black Entrepreneurship Program

Another $6.5 million will go to collect data on the state of Black entrepreneurship and identify the barriers preventing Black Canadians from succeeding in business.

Ottawa and eight major financial institutions are also creating a loan program to fund Black entrepreneurs with loans between $25,000 and $250,000.

Support for Black businesses was one of the requests in a June letter penned by the Parliamentary Black Caucus calling on governments across Canada to immediately address systemic racism.

#BlackNorth initiative launched to end systemic racism on Toronto’s Bay Street, corporate Canada
#BlackNorth initiative launched to end systemic racism on Toronto’s Bay Street, corporate Canada