Regional Relief and Recovery Fund - Frequently asked questions

General Questions

  1. What COVID-19 relief supports are available through FedDev Ontario?
  2. What is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)?

Eligibility

  1. Who is eligible to apply?
  2. What types of assistance are eligible?
  3. Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have already received government funding through another COVID-19 relief initiative?
  4. I have already applied for the RRRF, but I am now eligible for the expanded CEBA benefit. Will my application still be assessed under the RRRF?
  5. I have not yet applied for the RRRF, but I am now eligible for the expanded CEBA benefit. What should I do?
  6. What supports are available to sole proprietors and owner-operated small businesses?
  7. Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have received the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy or the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) Innovation Assistance Program (IAP)?
  8. Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have received funding through the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) relief measure?
  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?
  4. How were the regional allocations for the RRRF determined?

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?
  4. How many applications can an organization or business submit?

Assessment Process

  1. How will applications be assessed?
  2. What are the areas that may get priority if demand exceeds available funding?
  3. How much time does it take to process an application?
  4. What should I do if I find that I have made a mistake in providing financial information to FedDev Ontario?
  5. 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?

Additional Information

  1. How do I get more information?

General Questions

1) What COVID-19 relief supports are available through FedDev Ontario?

The Government of Canada announced a new national $962 million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) which provides $675 million in financing support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are unable to access existing COVID-19 measures and $287 million to support rural business' and communities with access to capital through Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs).

FedDev Ontario will deliver $213 million in RRRF funding throughout southern Ontario. Southern Ontario CFDCs will deliver $39.4 million in funding to support rural businesses in the communities they serve.

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

To find out if FedDev Ontario can support you through the RRRF, please review the program guidelines.

2) What is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)?

Through the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, Canada’s six RDAs are delivering:

  • $675 million in support to SMEs that are unable to access other federal COVID-19 relief measures; and
  • $287 million for the national network of Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) to provide funding and other support to small businesses in rural communities. More information on the CFDCs can be found here.

In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario will invest $213 million by providing interest-free repayable contributions (loans) to help support business’ fixed operating costs, where revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The RRRF seeks to support southern Ontario SMEs to address gaps in or supplement other federal relief measures, as well as complement those provided by other levels of government. In particular, the RRRF seeks to provide support to southern Ontario SMEs that do not qualify for, or have been rejected from, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures, or are experiencing ongoing funding needs despite having accessed other funding measures.


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 (operating with at least one full-time employee) located in southern Ontario;
  • Facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Have applied to other Government of Canada COVID-19 emergency credit relief measures, for which they are eligible;
  • Planning to continue to operate its business or resume operations; and
  • A viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please review the guidelines for more information.

4) What types of assistance are eligible?

FedDev Ontario will provide:

  • Financial contributions (interest-free loans) up to a maximum of $500,000 to help support SMEs fixed operating costs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Fixed operating costs such as but not limited to capital lease payments for existing equipment and machinery, property taxes and utilities.

5) 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 SMEs that do not qualify for, or have been rejected from, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures, or are experiencing ongoing funding needs despite having accessed other funding measures. SMEs are expected to have already applied to other Government of Canada emergency credit relief measures for which they are eligible, including:

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP);
  • Canadian 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;
  • BDC COVID-19 Working Capital loans; as well as
  • Other targeted and sector-specific COVIID-19 programs (e.g., funding for Indigenous Entrepreneurs, Farm Credit Canada).

FedDev Ontario will not provide funding that duplicates support provided through other programs.

Eligible Applicants that have received a CEBA loan but have additional financial pressures can apply to the RRRF, however, applicants must first attempt to access the BCAP measures and BDC Working Capital. Eligible Applicants that have received a CEBA loan will not be eligible to have any portion of their loan forgiven. In addition, the CEBA loan amount will be adjusted from the RRRF contribution amount.

6) I have already applied for the RRRF, but I am now eligible for the expanded CEBA benefit. Will my application still be assessed under the RRRF?

On June 26, the eligibility criteria for CEBA was expanded to support more owner-operated businesses. Owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends may now be eligible for $40,000 interest-free loans from their banks, in cooperation with Export Development Canada, to help cover operating costs during the pandemic.

As of June 26, 2020, applicants who may be eligible for the expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) are required to first apply for that measure before applying to RRRF.

Applications received prior to that date will normally continue to be assessed even if they may now be eligible for the expanded CEBA benefit.

RRRF recipients will be required to inform FedDev Ontario if they receive assistance under CEBA. If RRRF recipients do receive CEBA assistance, their RRRF contribution would become unconditionally repayable with no forgivable portion.

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

7) I have not yet applied for the RRRF, but I am now eligible for the expanded CEBA benefit, what should I do?

On June 26, the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) was expanded to support more owner-operated businesses. Owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends may now be eligible for $40,000 interest-free loans from their banks, in cooperation with Export Development Canada, to help cover operating costs during the pandemic.

As of June 26, 2020, applicants who may be eligible for the expanded CEBA are required to first apply for that measure before applying to RRRF. For more information on the expanded CEBA and its eligibility criteria, please visit the CEBA webpage and read the announcement.

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

On May 19, 2020, the Government of Canada announced modifications to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). In particular, 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, may now be eligible for CEBA.

The Government is working closely with financial institutions to implement the changes to CEBA as soon as possible. More details will follow in the coming days. Once available, eligible businesses are encouraged to follow-up with their financial institutions to apply for CEBA.

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

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

9) Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have received the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) Innovation Assistance Program (IAP)?

Applicants who have received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the NRC-IRAP Innovation Assistance Program can apply for the RRRF. However, costs associated with salaries and benefits will not be considered for support under the RRRF.

10) Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have received funding through the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) relief measure?

Applicants are expected to pursue with their landlord access to the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. If you or your landlord have received assistance under the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, costs associated with rent 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 applicants will be eligible for the lesser of three months of eligible and supported fixed operating costs or up to $250,000.

Please refer to the guidelines for more information.

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 "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 SMEs must be located in a community serviced by the local CFDC. CFDCs will deliver loans up to a maximum of $40,000. For SMEs requesting assistance above $40,000, they should apply directly to FedDev Ontario.

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

A business may apply to both FedDev Ontario and a CFDC, but cannot receive RRRF funding from both.

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.

Other rural SMEs seeking up to $40,000 or firms interested in higher rates of support should apply directly to FedDev Ontario.

15) What are eligible costs?

Only fixed operating costs of SMEs will be considered. These include costs such as:

  • Capital lease payments for existing equipment and machinery;
  • Salaries and benefits (Will only be considered for support if the business is not eligible or declined support from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the NRC-IRAP – Innovation Assistance Program for pre-revenue businesses);
  • Property taxes;
  • Utilities;
  • Bank charges and interest payments;
  • Professional fees;
  • Monthly insurance payments;
  • Rent (Applicants are expected to pursue with their landlord access to the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses); and
  • Other fixed operating costs applicable to the applicant.

Please review the guidelines for more information on what costs are eligible as part of an RRRF submission.


RRRF Funding

16) How much funding is available per applicant?

Two funding options are available to applicants for the RRRF 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 December 31, 2022, will result in contribution forgiveness of 25 percent, or up to $10,000 of the total contribution.
  • Option 2: Up to $500,000 fully repayable, interest-free contribution (loan).

The contribution amount will generally be the lesser of three months of eligible and supported fixed costs or the maximum contribution amount based on the applicant’s 2019 revenue.

Due to anticipated high demand for relief funding, the amount of the contribution will be based on the minimum amount of funding required to mitigate COVID-19 impacts.

Please review the guidelines for more information.

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

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 December 31, 2022, but the applicant can opt to make payments anytime between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022. Up to 25 percent or $10,000 contribution forgiveness is available, provided 75 percent, or up to $30,000 is paid back by December 31, 2022.

For contributions over $40,000, no payments are required until December 31, 2022.

Please review the 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.

19) How were the regional allocations for the RRRF determined?

With the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, the Government of Canada is nearly doubling the annual budgets of Canada’s six regional development agencies (RDAs). The Fund is an immediate $962 million support measure to protect Canadian jobs and to help Canadians and businesses through this period of uncertainty. 

The distribution of the RRRF to each RDA took into consideration the size and need of each region of Canada while ensuring that each RDA was adequately resourced to help cash-strapped entrepreneurs in their respective regions who are unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures.

A strong Canadian economy requires that SMEs in all regions of Canada are not falling through the cracks and get the support they need to remain in operation now and into the future. The RDAs will work with the Community Futures Network of Canada to make every effort to extend the RRRF to as many SMEs as possible to ensure no business is left behind; however, we recognize that demand for funds may exceed what is available in every region.

The RRRF is distributed among the six RDAs as follows:


Application Process

20) 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.

Incomplete applications cannot be assessed and will be deemed ineligible. Please ensure all mandatory fields are completed and all required supporting documentation is included. If your application is deemed incomplete, you are permitted to submit another application including all required information and documentation.

For more information on FedDev Ontario’s COVID-19 relief supports, or on how to complete your Application for Funding, please consult the program guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions prior to submitting an application.

21) 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 if you click ‘Submit your application’ and can be completed in the browser.

22) 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.

23) How many applications can an organization or business submit?

One Application for Funding per applicant is permitted. Multiple or concurrent applications may not be considered.


Assessment Process

24) 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 measures);
  • Viability of the applicant (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.

If there is significant demand for the funding available, priority may be given to SMEs that within fall one of three strategic sectors for the region, are major employers located in smaller communities, and/ or support the government’s commitment to inclusive growth. Please consult the guidelines for more information on priority areas and the assessment process.

25) What are the areas that may get priority if demand exceeds available funding?

If there is significant demand for the funding available, priority may be given to SMEs that are significant employers in communities and critical industries, such as:

  • Manufacturing – includes businesses engaged in the physical, chemical or mechanical transformation of goods, materials or substances into new products. Examples include automotive, aerospace, food and beverages, fabricated metal and machines, and chemicals and plastics;
  • Technology – includes a broad range of software, hardware, and life and environmental activities in diverse sectors such as information and communications technologies, biotech, biopharma, clean technologies, and bio-processing;
  • Tourism – includes accommodations, recreation, tour operators, and scenic and sightseeing transportation;
  • Are major employers located in smaller communities;
  • Support the government’s commitment to inclusive growth (i.e., women, Indigenous peoples, youth, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, newcomers, LGBTQ2) and Official Language Minority Communities.

Please consult the guidelines for more information on priority areas.

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

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

FedDev Ontario aims to process every application as quickly as possible and will notify applicants of any funding decision as soon as possible.

27) 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 will submit all required information with their proposal, 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.

28) 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

29) 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 not be released until the applicant returns a signed copy of the contribution agreement.

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

The funding amount is the lesser of three months of eligible and supported fixed costs OR, the maximum contribution amount based on a company’s 2019 revenue as outlined in the program guidelines.

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

31) 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, applicant viability and the economic benefits of RRRF support. The contribution amount will generally be the lesser of three months of eligible and supported fixed costs or the maximum contribution amount based on the applicant’s 2019 revenue. Due to anticipated high demand, funds may be limited. The funding amount may also be reduced for recipient costs that are available through other government support measures and to exclude ineligible costs.

For more information, please review the program guidelines.

32) 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 signature of a contribution agreement. The recipient shall then submit a claim, attestation and final report as outlined in their contribution agreement by no later than December 15, 2020.

Recipients approved for contributions that are over $100,000 will receive 80 percent of the total contribution amount upon signature of a 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 SME 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 by no later than December 15, 2020.

Where applicable, contribution agreement pre-disbursements conditions must be met before payment.

More information on funding will be outlined in the contribution agreement for successful applicants.

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

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

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

In addition, SMEs must submit a copy of their financial statements within one hundred and eighty (180) calendar days of their fiscal year end.

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

FedDev Ontario, its officials, employees, agents and contrors 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.

35) 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 cost have been incurred as projects are being completed.


Additional Information

36) How do I get more information?

Please review the Application guide and Program guidelines for more detailed information.

Please note: we expect interest in the Fund to be high. Applicants are encouraged to consult the Program guidelines and Frequently asked questions prior to submitting an application.

For more information on other Government of Canada COVID-19 supports, please visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

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