OTTAWA — Delivering on targeted measures announced on April 17, the federal government launched the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) on May 13.
The RRRF is designed to help more businesses and organizations in various sectors, such as tourism and manufacturing, access the support they need during these difficult times. The fund aims to mitigate the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees, as well as support projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery.
“No matter how wide we extend the safety net, businesses across Canada continue to slip through the cracks. Many entrepreneurs are still anxious about whether they will get the help they need,” says Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “With nearly a billion dollars in support, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will fill in some of the gaps. Our message to Canadians is clear: we are here for you now; we will be here for you in the weeks and months to come; and we will get through this together. We’ve got your back.”
The new fund is being delivered through Canada’s six Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) across the country to help organizations continue their operations and position themselves for a successful recovery. The RDAs were deemed best positioned to provide this additional support, as they work closely with communities across the country on a daily basis and understand the diverse local realities. Funding amounts vary by RDA and fall under two categories:
- $675 million to support regional economies, businesses, organizations and communities in regions all across Canada
- $287 million to support the national network of Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), which will specifically target small businesses and rural communities across the country
Applications are currently being accepted. SMEs that do not qualify for, or have been declined for, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures should apply through RDAs:
- FedDev Southern Ontario
- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
- Western Diversification
- CanNor (being distributed in three different ways in applicable areas)
Businesses in rural and smaller communities will be supported by additional funding for the existing Community Futures Program. These funds will focus on assisting “main-street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants and corner stores, as well as businesses of strategic importance to their communities, with loans up to $40,000. Applications should be made directly through local CFDCs.