Regional Relief and Recovery Fund - Frequently asked questions

General Questions

  1. What COVID-19 relief support is available through FedDev Ontario?
  2. How has the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) changed?

Eligibility

  1. Who is eligible to apply?
  2. I am already a RRRF recipient. Can I reapply or revise my contribution agreement to access additional support?
  3. I already applied; should I reapply or revise my application to qualify for the expanded program parameters?
  4. What type of financial assistance is available?
  5. Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have already received government funding through another COVID-19 relief initiative?
  6. What supports are available to sole proprietors and owner-operated small businesses?
  7. Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have received a loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)?
  8. Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have received funding through other federal COVID-19 relief measures related to salaries and benefits?
  9. Should I apply to FedDev Ontario if I am currently being assessed under other COVID-19 relief measures?
  10. My business is pre-revenue, what are my options?
  11. How does the funding that FedDev Ontario is delivering through the RRRF differ from the funding being delivered by CFDCs?
  12. Can I receive support from FedDev Ontario and my local CFDC?
  13. What are eligible costs?

RRRF Funding

  1. How much funding is available per applicant?
  2. Does the funding have to be repaid? What are the terms?
  3. Will FedDev Ontario funding have any tax implications for my business?

Application Process

  1. How do I apply?
  2. The application form is not opening on my computer. How can I access it?
  3. What is the deadline for applications?

Assessment Process

  1. How will applications be assessed?
  2. How much time does it take to process an application?
  3. What should I do if I find that I have made a mistake in providing financial information to FedDev Ontario?
  4. Will my contribution have any Official Languages Act requirements?

RRRF Recipients

  1. If I receive funding, what are the next steps?
  2. I was approved for funding through RRRF. How was my funding determined?
  3. Why is the funding amount less than the costs I submitted for support?
  4. How will the Government of Canada flow funding to recipients?
  5. Will there be any reporting requirements for my contribution?
  6. Will other federal departments or agencies have access to my personal information?
  7. How will the Government of Canada ensure appropriate accountability for the use of public funds?

General Questions

1) What COVID-19 relief support is available through FedDev Ontario?

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides liquidity support to businesses and not-for-profit organizations affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, that are unable to access other federal relief measures, or require additional support.

As part of this national initiative, FedDev Ontario is delivering $436.4 million in RRRF funding in southern Ontario. This includes targeted support for rural businesses delivered by southern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs).

To find out if you are eligible for support you through the RRRF, please review the program guidelines.

FedDev Ontario is also here to help you navigate the other federal support available through the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Please contact us at 1-866-593-5055 for assistance.

2) How has the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) changed?

Since May, FedDev Ontario has been delivering the RRRF to businesses and organizations in southern Ontario. On October 2, an additional $184 million was announced for FedDev Ontario to continue to offer support.

To ensure that we support as many businesses and organizations to the best extent possible, some program parameters have been expanded and the timeframe for support has been extended to March 31, 2021. Key changes include:

  • RRRF supports operating costs incurred or forecasted during the first year of the pandemic (March 15, 2020March 31, 2021).
  • Financial assistance will normally support six months of eligible and supported fixed operating costs, up to a maximum of $1 million.
  • Not-for-profit organizations that support businesses in southern Ontario or that are engaged in commercial activities are now eligible to apply for funding through the RRRF.

Please review the program guidelines for more information.


Eligibility

3) Who is eligible to apply?

To qualify for the RRRF through FedDev Ontario, an applicant must be:

  • A Canadian or provincially incorporated business, cooperative, partnership, or Indigenous-owned business (operating with one to 499 full-time equivalent employees) located in southern Ontario;
  • A not-for-profit organization that provides support services to businesses (i.e., business or sector organizations);
  • A not-for-profit organization, including social enterprises, that is engaged in commercial activities (i.e., conduct that is commercial in character such as selling, bartering or leasing);
  • Facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Have applied to other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures;
  • Operational prior to March 15, 2020;
  • Financially viable;
  • Planning to continue to operate its business or resume operations; and
  • Has an active business chequing/operating account.

4) I am already a RRRF recipient. Can I reapply or revise my Contribution Agreement to access additional support?

RRRF funding is available to provide liquidity support to SMEs and organizations during the pandemic. The expanded parameters and additional funding will enable us to support more businesses and organizations. If you still need support, you are encouraged to call and to apply.

SMEs that have received RRRF funding and can attest to and demonstrate that they continue to face liquidity pressures may be eligible for additional financial support. 

Requests for additional financial support can be made through an simplified application form via the Application for Funding by answering “yes” to the first question. The form will automatically be condensed to the simplified version. By completing the simplified application, recipients will be attesting to continued liquidity pressures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any changes to the original project will be made in the Contribution Agreement.

5) I already applied; should I reapply or revise my application to qualify for the expanded program parameters?

Applications will be considered under the expanded program parameters and do not need to be resubmitted.

6) What type of financial assistance is available?

Funding is targeted at providing liquidity support (working capital for businesses, or cash-flow requirements for not-for-profit organizations). It supports fixed (or non-deferred) operating costs to maintain regular operations where revenue has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • If you are a business or not-for-profit organization engaged in commercial activities (i.e., selling, bartering or leasing), the contribution is repayable.
  • If you are a not-for-profit economic or business support organization not engaged in commercial activities, the contribution is non-repayable.
  • The need for assistance must be for costs incurred or forecasted in the first year of the pandemic (March 15, 2020, to March 31, 2021).
  • In all cases, financial assistance will not exceed $1 million per eligible organization.
  • Funding may be used to cover the following types of costs:
    • Fixed operating costs including but not limited to capital lease payments for existing equipment and machinery, property taxes and utilities.
    • One-time stabilization expenditures related to operating in the context of COVID-19, including sanitary, distancing measures and/or one-off adaptation costs.
  • Some expenses are ineligible for support, such as costs associated with future growth or income (e.g., fixed assets and equipment), debt principal repayment, and/or expenses covered by other programs.
  • For more information, please review the program guidelines.

7) Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have already received government funding through another COVID-19 relief initiative?

Yes. You could still be eligible to apply to RRRF. The RRRF seeks to provide support to southern Ontario organizations that are unable to access other federal COVID-19 relief measures, or that need additional financial assistance. Organizations are expected to have already applied to other federal COVID-19 relief measures for which they are eligible, including:

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA);
  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) – Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Co-Lending and Export Development Corporation (EDC) Loan Guarantee programs;
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS);
  • The National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) Innovation Assistance Program (IAP);
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and/or the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA);
  • BDC COVID-19 Working Capital loans; and
  • Other targeted and sector-specific COVID-19 programs (e.g., funding for Indigenous entrepreneurs, Farm Credit Canada).

If you have received financial support through other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures, your RRRF application will only be assessed for eligible costs not covered or considered by these programs. The RRRF complements but does not duplicate other supports.

8) What supports are available to sole proprietors and owner-operated small businesses?

Under the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll and businesses with a payroll lower than $20,000, are eligible for support.

Sole proprietors located in rural and small communities serviced by a Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) may also be eligible to receive RRRF funding through their local CFDC.

Please visit the Government of Canada COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for more information and updates.

9) Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have received a loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)?

Applicants who may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) are required to first apply for that measure before applying to RRRF.

RRRF applicants will be required to inform FedDev Ontario if they receive assistance under CEBA. If an applicant has been rejected by CEBA or has received CEBA but is still left with gaps, a repayable contribution may be available (i.e., a loan without a forgivable portion).

For more information on CEBA and its eligibility criteria, please visit the CEBA webpage.

10) Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have received funding through other federal COVID-19 relief measures related to salaries and benefits?

If you have received funding through other federal COVID-19 relief measures, but require additional support, a repayable contribution may be available.

Please note applicants who have received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the NRC-IRAP Innovation Assistance Program (IAP) or other COVID-19 relief measures for salaries and benefits are eligible to apply to the RRRF. However, costs associated with salaries and benefits will not be considered for support under the RRRF.

11) Should I apply to FedDev Ontario if I am currently being assessed under other COVID-19 relief measures?

Applicants are encouraged to apply to the RRRF after they apply and hear back from other COVID-19 relief measures for which they are eligible.

12) My business is pre-revenue, what are my options?

Pre-revenue firms will be eligible for the lesser of six months of eligible and supported fixed operating costs or up to $500,000, less other approved federal COVID-19 measures.

13) How does the funding that FedDev Ontario is delivering through the RRRF differ from the funding being delivered by CFDCs?

Funding offered through CFDCs is intended to support rural "main street" businesses and sole proprietors, including, for example, retail shops, restaurants, and corner stores, as well as businesses of strategic importance to the community. These small- and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must be located in a community serviced by the local CFDC. CFDCs will deliver loans up to a maximum of $40,000. SMEs requesting assistance above $40,000 should apply directly to FedDev Ontario.

14) Can I receive support from FedDev Ontario and my local CFDC?

You cannot receive RRRF funding from both FedDev Ontario and a CFDC.

If you are a rural “main street” businesses including, for example, retail shops, restaurants, and corner stores or a sole proprietor interested in a loan of up to $40,000 to support your COVID-19-affected business, you should consider applying for RRRF support from your local CFDC. SMEs requesting assistance above $40,000 should apply directly to FedDev Ontario.

15) What are eligible costs?

Only fixed (or non-deferred) operating costs will be considered. These include costs such as:

  • Capital lease payments for existing equipment and machinery;
  • Salaries and benefits (only if not eligible or supported by other available COVID-19 relief measures);
  • Property taxes;
  • Utilities;
  • Bank charges and interest payments;
  • Professional fees;
  • Monthly Insurance payments;
  • Rent;
  • Personal protective equipment / safety measures;
  • Cleaning expenses; and
  • One time stabilization expenditures (including sanitary, distancing measures and/or one-off adaptation costs related to operating in the context of COVID-19).

Please review the guidelines for more information on eligible costs.


RRRF Funding

16) How much funding is available per applicant?

Two funding options are available to RRRF applicants through FedDev Ontario:

  • Option 1: Up to $40,000 conditionally repayable interest-free contribution (loan). Repaying 75 percent, or up to $30,000 of the contribution, on or before March 31, 2023, will result in contribution forgiveness of 25 percent, or up to $10,000 of the total contribution.
  • Option 2: Over $40,000 up to $1 million fully repayable, interest-free contribution (loan).

The contribution amount will normally support six months of eligible and supported fixed operating costs, up to a maximum loan amount of $1 million.

The timeframe to consider costs is March 15, 2020, to March 31, 2021.

Please review the guidelines for more information.

Note: support to NFP organizations will be non-repayable.

17) Does the funding have to be repaid? What are the terms?

For businesses or organizations engaged in commercial activities, all contributions under the RRRF through FedDev Ontario are interest-free repayable contributions (loans).

For contributions up to $40,000, no payments are required until April 1, 2023, but the applicant can opt to make payments any time before this date. Up to 25 percent, for a maximum of $10,000 contribution forgiveness is available, provided 75 percent, or up to $30,000 is paid back by March 31, 2023.

For contributions over $40,000, there is a two-year grace period until March 31, 2023, before scheduled monthly payments are due. For not-for-profit organizations that support businesses, the contribution is non-repayable.

Please review the program guidelines for more information.

18) Will FedDev Ontario funding have any tax implications for my business?

Financial assistance from government programs may have tax implications for your business. It is recommended that advice be obtained from a qualified tax professional.


Application Process

19) How do I apply?

Applicants must complete a one-step Application for Funding.

Refer to the Application Guide for instructions on how to complete FedDev Ontario’s Application for Funding. If you continue to experiences difficulties, contact FedDev Ontario. It is recommended that applicants use Adobe Reader 10 or higher to complete the Application for Funding.

20) The application form is not opening on my computer. How can I access it?

To access the Application for Funding, please follow the steps below. Note that you must have a PDF reader installed on your computer in order to access the form. It is recommended that applicants use Adobe Reader 10 or higher.

Download the Application for Funding:

  1. Right-click the ‘Submit your application’ link under the applicant toolkit menu and select ‘Save target as’ or ‘Save link’ to download the Application for Funding to your computer in Portable Document Format (PDF).
  2. Open the file using a PDF reader. If you do not already have a reader installed on your computer, there are several PDF readers available on the Internet for PC and MAC users. It is recommended that applicants use Adobe Reader 10 or higher.
  3. If you are using Internet Explorer, the form will open automatically and can be completed in the browser.

21) What is the deadline for applications?

The application process for the RRRF is ongoing and applications will be assessed on a first-come first-served basis. Applications will be reviewed as they are received until the Fund is fully committed.


Assessment Process

22) How will applications be assessed?

A complete Application for Funding will undergo a due diligence review. The application will be assessed against a number of factors such as, but not limited to:

  • Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on business operations;
  • Availability of other financial supports (e.g., access to credit at a financial institution and other federal COVID-19 relief measures);
  • Financial viability (i.e., ability to repay the contribution); and
  • Economic benefits of RRRF support.

Incomplete submissions are ineligible. Please ensure all required information is included and that all information is accurate, verifiable, relevant and consistent. If your application is deemed ineligible due to incompleteness, you are permitted to submit another application with all required information and documentation.

23) How much time does it take to process an application?

FedDev Ontario will send an email to the applicant upon receipt of an application with an application number. Please ensure to save a copy of this information for your records.

FedDev Ontario aims to process applications as quickly as possible. Applicants will be notified of any funding decision as soon as possible.

24) What should I do if I find that I have made a mistake in providing financial information to FedDev Ontario?

In the certification section of the Application for Funding, applicants must attest that they have submitted all required information with their application, and that the information included is true and accurate. Applicants are encouraged to ensure that all information is up to date and included with their application. If the applicant has made a mistake in providing information or if the information is incomplete, the application should be withdrawn and resubmitted.

25) Will my contribution have any Official Languages Act requirements?

Recipients will be required to express any public acknowledgement of the Agency's support in both official languages.


RRRF recipients

26) If I receive funding, what are the next steps?

FedDev Ontario staff will develop a Contribution Agreement, which is a written agreement (contract) between the Government of Canada and an eligible applicant that sets out the obligations and understandings of both parties with respect to payment and reporting.

Funds will be released once a signed copy of the Contribution Agreement is received.

27) I was approved for funding through RRRF. How was my funding determined?

The funding amount is the lesser of eligible and supported fixed costs, or the maximum contribution amount based on the funding option selected.

The funding amount will not include costs already supported through other COVID-19 relief measures or costs that are deemed ineligible.

28) Why is the funding amount less than the costs I submitted for support?

Applications are reviewed against a number of assessment criteria, including but not limited to the impact of COVID-19 on business operations, availability of other financial support, financial viability and the economic benefits of RRRF support.

If you have received financial support through other federal COVID-19 relief measures, your RRRF application will only be assessed for eligible costs not covered or considered by these programs, resulting in a reduction of funds. Ineligible costs are also excluded from the funding amount.

For more information, please review the program guidelines.

29) How will the Government of Canada flow funding to recipients?

Contributions will be paid to recipients through advance payments. At a later date, recipients will need to attest that the contribution was spent on reasonable eligible costs incurred.

Recipients approved for contributions of up to $100,000 will be advanced the full funding amount upon receipt of a signed Contribution Agreement. The recipient shall then submit a claim, attestation and final report as outlined in their Contribution Agreement.

Recipients approved for contributions over $100,000 will receive 80 percent of the total contribution amount upon receipt of a signed Contribution Agreement. An attestation confirming that the initial payment of 80 percent of the contribution has been expended, that the remaining 20 percent is still required and that the organization remains operational will be required to receive the final 20 percent of the contribution. The recipient shall then submit the final claim, attestation and final report.

Where applicable, Contribution Agreement pre-disbursements conditions must be met before payment.

More information on funding will be outlined in the Contribution Agreement.

30) Will there be any reporting requirements for my contribution?

Organizations will be required to submit a final report that includes:

  • An attestation that the full amount of the contribution was expended for eligible fixed operating costs;
  • Narrative describing how the contribution received has mitigated the impacts of COVID-19 on the organization;
  • Number of jobs maintained as a result of the contribution received;
  • Confirmation that the organization is continuing its operations; and
  • Other metrics as may be requested by FedDev Ontario.

The recipient must submit a copy of their financial statements within one hundred and eighty (180) calendar days of their fiscal year end.

31) Will other federal departments or agencies have access to my personal information?

FedDev Ontario, its officials, employees, agents and contractors may share requests for support and/or make inquiries of such persons, firms, corporations, federal, provincial and municipal government departments/agencies, and not-for-profit, economic development or other organizations as may be appropriate, and to share information with them, as FedDev Ontario deems necessary in order to assess requests for support or to refer the application.

Information provided to FedDev Ontario will be treated in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. These laws govern the use, protection and disclosure of personal, financial and technical information by federal government departments and agencies. Information provided to FedDev Ontario is secured from unauthorized access.

32) How will the Government of Canada ensure appropriate accountability for the use of public funds?

Approved applicants are monitored by FedDev Ontario; recipients are required to submit attestations to verify that eligible costs have been incurred as projects are being completed.

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