EDMONTON -- A government program will provide up to a half-million dollars for community-owned Indigenous businesses that provide social and economic benefits.

The Alberta government announced details of the plan Monday.

The Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF) supports projects that increase employment opportunities for Indigenous people, revenue streams for communities and their overall economies.

Communities must own and control 51 per cent or more of the proposed business or joint venture to be eligible.

“ABIF aligns with our goals to be partners in prosperity with Indigenous people and to restore Alberta’s economy," Rick Wilson, minister of Indigenous relations, said in a news release. “Indigenous-owned businesses create jobs and bring new services to their communities and surrounding areas. Investing in Indigenous businesses is an investment in Alberta’s economic future.”

The ABIF has previously been used to build grocery stores, hotels and gas stations, and to purchase heavy equipment, including marketing and telecommunications gear.

The 40 projects supported by the investment fund have created almost 300 full-time jobs, over 150 full-time construction jobs and 130 spinoff businesses in Alberta.

The closing date for applications is Sept 30. More information can be found on the government's website.