OTTAWA — Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new actions to protect Canadian jobs and provide more support to businesses and organizations dealing with the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The Government of Canada will provide more than $1.7 billion for targeted measures, which include $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures, through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies.
Funds of $287 million will target supporting rural businesses and communities, including providing access to capital through the Community Futures Network — designed to help communities in Canada’s rural areas develop and implement strategies to deal with a changing economic environment.
The measures also include $500-million dedicated to establishing a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations to help address the financial needs of affected organizations within these sectors, so they can continue to support artists and athletes. The Fund will be administered by Canadian Heritage with the support of its partners.
To assist innovative, early-stage companies unable to access existing COVID-19 business support, $250 million will be made available through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program. An additional $20.1 million in support will also be dedicated to Futurpreneur Canada to continue to support young entrepreneurs. The funding will allow Futurpreneur Canada to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months.
The new measures also include funding for the energy sector, which aim to retain and create approximately 10,000 jobs in the sector.