COMMUNITY CALL TO ACTION
Three Key Actions to Respond to the Social and Economic Impacts of COVID-19 by Mobilizing Social Finance and Social Enterprise
We are continuing to navigate through an incredibly challenging moment in time. Although we seem to be slowly flattening the curve on the health crisis, the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to rise, from millions unemployed to billions lost by Canadian nonprofits, charities, and small businesses.
Alongside vital public health measures, there is a critical need to maintain, improve, and launch systemic responses like wage subsidies, income support programs, rent abatement programs, and sector stabilization funds. We will also need to renew our collective social contract as the crisis has revealed the stark nature of long-standing issues that must be addressed from precarious work to incredible inequality.
Additionally, there is a need to unleash the power and potential of social enterprise and impact investing as a part of a comprehensive response to the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. As a movement, we need to lean in at this time.
Over the past few months, we have been working collaboratively with partners to prepare an ecosystem response. In this work, we have sought to develop a greater understanding of the trends, gaps, principles, and models, alongside a long list of potential response actions. Following community conversations, we have identified three key needs and three priority actions that would form a comprehensive response.
These actions are designed to offer a plan and pathway for the federal government, foundations, corporations and others to respond to the current crisis. You can read the full letter submitted to government officials regarding Action One and Two here.
WHAT IS NEEDED?
for organizations and enterprises seeking to manage a significant business disruption and/or to re-tool or adapt their business or organization to respond to the crisis
directed into communities, entrepreneurs, organizations and intermediaries to support relief, recovery and regeneration.
ADVANCE SYSTEMS CHANGE
broadly by creating new institutions, regulations, and infrastructure to support long-term recovery and resilience
THREE KEY ACTIONS
We have established these priority actions based on evolving economic data and sector trends, gaps in the current response, and insights from community conversations with key stakeholders across Canada. Moreover, these priority actions aim to address the need for short-term emergency relief as well as the need for medium- to long-term recovery and regeneration.
ENTERPRISE RESPONSE PROGRAM
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ADAPTATION, RELIEF, AND RECOVERY FUND
COMMUNITY CAPITAL INSTITUTIONS
Provide funding for intermediaries to deliver critical technical assistance to organizations and enterprises that are seeking to navigate COVID-19.
Develop and capitalize a social enterprise and nonprofit sector blended finance fund targeting regions (and identified sectors in regions) in rural, urban and Northern Canada, women, and indigenous entrepreneurs with grants and loans for adaptation, relief, and recovery. Aspects of this action can be achieved through the proposal of the National Impact Investment Practitioner's Table to accelerate the Social Finance Fund and allocate capital to indigenous funds, current impact investing funds, and emerging impact investing funds.
Establish a framework to identify, qualify, and provide ongoing support to a new category of community development financial institutions that can provide capital and capacity supports to organizations and enterprises that can lead recovery and regeneration efforts at a local level, modelled on similar frameworks in the United States and in the United Kingdom.