Loans & Grants

The Native Fishing Association offers loans of up to $500,000 to qualified applicants who submit an application detailing how the funding will benefit their fishing business operations.


What you can do with our loaned funding

Loans are available for:

  1. the purchase of commercial fishing licenses;
  2. the purchase, maintenance, or improvement of fishing vessels; or,
  3. the reorganization of debts pertaining to fishing vessels.

Who can apply for a loan

To apply for a loan, you must:


Reside in BC


Be of Indigenous heritage


Be the owner of or partners in a viable enterprise under competent management


Demonstrate a need for financial assistance


Demonstrate that you will be able to repay the loan


Have suitable fishing knowledge and experience


Provide a proposal that makes good business sense


Demonstrate that there are no existing loans, liens, or other commitments pertaining to the vessel or other business assets


Demonstrate the ability to provide suitable collateral (loan security) on a licensed fishing vessel or other assets


Provide up to 20% of the loan value in cash as a down payment


See Grants Below for More Information

How applications are


Our assessment of your loan application takes your entire situation into consideration. While the loan must make sense in terms of helping your business succeed, we also have the flexibility to adjust the terms and conditions for repayment to better suit the individual needs and circumstances of each borrower.

Applications are processed

as follows:

Preliminary Review

Applications are first reviewed to ensure that applicants meet the basic qualifications, and that we have all of the information needed. You may be contacted to provide more information.

Business Assessment

The information provided is then assessed from a financial and business perspective. Our goal is for you to succeed in the commercial fishing industry, so we want to make sure that you have a solid business plan, industry experience, and the potential for enough future earnings to repay the loan and support yourself, your family, and your business.


You may be contacted to discuss certain aspects of your application, financial status, or future plans. We may make suggestions or propose an alternative repayment plan.

Review and Approval

Loan applications for up to $10,000 are reviewed by the Executive Director. Loan applications for amounts between $10,000 and $75,000 are reviewed by the Executive Director and two members of the Board of Directors. Loans over $75,000 must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Director and a minimum of three members of the Board.

Reviewers will consider the viability of the proposal, the risk of non-repayment, the proposed use of funds and how this will contribute to the business’s profitability, the availability and value of assets proposed as security, and the application’s compatibility with the goals and objectives of the Native Fishing Association.

Reviewers who agree to approve a loan will also set the terms and conditions of the loan, as well as the method, frequency, and amount of loan payments.


Once the loan is approved, you will sign a contract with us. This legal document will state the terms and conditions of the loan, and the schedule for repayment.

Provision of Funds

If you are purchasing a vessel or asset, NFA will submit payment directly to the seller; or another payment method may* be arranged.

How to apply

making payments

If your loan application is approved, the terms and conditions will specify a repayment schedule and the amount you are required to repay on each date. Payments will usually be required by post-dated cheques or pre-authorized debits, although in some circumstances, we will also accept assignment of your accounts receivable and contracts.


Qualified applicants who would be approved for a loan except that they are not able to provide the required 20% down payment, may be eligible for an Entrepreneur Equity-Matching Initiative grant of up to $5,000 or 25% of the loan amount, whichever is less.

If you meet the criteria below, the information provided in your loan application will be used to determine if a grant will be offered as part of your loan package. Please note that you do not need to submit a separate application to receive a grant.

How grant decisions are made

There is a limited amount of grant funding available each year and priority is given to Indigenous BC entrepreneurs who are residing on reserve. If the loan is going to be approved, and the grant will ensure that the applicant can meet their down payment requirements, as long as you are eligible and funding is still available, the grant will be approved.

Grant eligibility criteria

Be a current member of the Native Brotherhood. You can apply for membership or renew your membership here.

Grant funds for this Entrepreneur Equity-Matching Initiative are provided by the New Relationship Trust (NRT) and administered by the Native Fishing Association.