OTTAWA — On October 2, the Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that the Government of Canada will provide an additional $600 million to support workers and businesses through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).
This additional investment brings the total RRRF support to more than $1.5 billion. To date, the fund has assisted more than 12,000 businesses challenged by liquidity issues due to the pandemic.
“With the second wave underway, we’ve heard loud and clear that more support is needed. That’s why we’re announcing a top-up to the RRRF to help even more Canadians,” says Joly. “Our message to them is clear: we’ve been here for you with significant measures, we’re here for you now and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help our economy come back strong.”
Businesses in the tourism sector have been identified as one of the targeted beneficiaries of this increased funding, which was welcome news for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).
“As we have been saying for a long time, tourism was the first sector hit, the hardest hit and will be the last to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” Charlotte Bell, TIAC president & CEO said in a statement. “We were pleased to see the tourism sector recognized as a primary benefactor of government-support programs. We hope this increased funding, and direction to Regional Development Agencies to prioritize tourism businesses, will see a more equitable distribution of funding to those businesses hardest hit in all areas of the country.”
TIAC is encouraging the government and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) to implement a standardized model of fund distribution across the country. The organization believes that tourism businesses, not-for-profits and destination-marketing organizations across the country should expect equitable access to government support.
RDAs will deliver $455.7-million to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and organizations facing financial pressure. Another $144.3 million of the RRRF is set to provide rural businesses and communities with access to capital and technical support and will be delivered by Community Futures Development Corporations across the country.