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Regional Relief and Recovery Fund - Program guidelines

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) has been extended in southern Ontario to continue to provide eligible businesses and organizations with economic relief due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Program updates:

  • As of January 20, 2021, conditionally repayable loans for eligible applicants increased from $40,000 to $60,000.
  • Recipients who have already received RRRF conditionally repayable financial assistance may apply for a top-up to a maximum total amount of $60,000 (also conditionally repayable).
  • Applications for RRRF loans will be accepted until June 30, 2021, or until such time that the Fund is fully committed. The timeframe to consider costs has been extended to September 30, 2021.

What features have not changed?

  • RRRF continues to be a backstop for other federal COVID-19 relief measures, including the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP).
  • Repayable RRRF funding may support fixed operating costs incurred during the pandemic, up to a maximum of $1 million.
  • Financial assistance is interest-free.
  • Support under $100,000 will be advanced in a single payment directly to organizations.
  • Financial assistance covers up to 100 percent of eligible costs.
  • Organizations such as chambers of commerce, business sector associations and other economic development organizations that provide support to businesses are eligible to apply for the RRRF for non-repayable loans.

Is this program right for me?

If you haven’t qualified for other measures, including the HASCAP, or need additional support, then FedDev Ontario may be able to help. You can apply to the RRRF if you have either:

Eligibility

1) Applicants

Eligible applicants Ineligible applicants
  • A Canadian or provincially-incorporated business, co-operative, partnership or an Indigenous-owned business with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees; or
  • Organizations, including social enterprises, that are engaged in commercial activities as a significant portion of operations (i.e., the exchanging of goods or services); or
  • Chambers of commerce, business or sector associations and other economic development organizations that provide support to businesses.

That meet the following:

  • 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 relief measures for which they are eligible, as outlined in the program guidelines;
  • Were operational prior to March 15, 2020;
  • Are financially viable;
  • Plan to continue to operate or resume operations; and
  • Have an active business chequing/operating account.
  • Unincorporated businesses, including sole proprietors;
  • Government organizations or bodies, or entities owned by a government organization or body;
  • Unions, charitable, religious or fraternal organizations or entities owned by such an organization;
  • Not-for-profit organizations (except those that provide support to businesses or engage in commercial activities);
  • Entities that are structured as a holding company; and
  • Entities owned by individuals holding political office.

2) Activities

Funding is targeted at providing liquidity support to eligible organizations. It supports fixed (or non-deferred) operating costs to maintain regular operations where revenues or cash flows have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

3) Costs

Eligible costs Ineligible costs
May include:
  • Capital lease payments for existing equipment and machinery;
  • Salaries and benefits*(only if not eligible or supported by other available federal COVID-19 relief measures);
  • Property taxes*;
  • Utilities* ;
  • Bank charges and interest payments;
  • Professional fees;
  • Monthly insurance payments;
  • Rent*;
  • Cleaning expenses / personal protective equipment / safety measures; and
  • One-time stabilization expenditures (including sanitary, distancing measures and/or one-off adaptation costs related to operating in the context of COVID-19).
  • Any costs deemed not reasonable and/or not directly related to a business’ fixed operational expenses;
  • Monthly mortgage and loan payments;
  • New capital expenditures;
  • Refinancing of an existing debt, including prepayment/refinancing of higher interest loans or debts such as those that make up part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan;
  • Refinancing of an existing debt;
  • Costs of amortization and goodwill;
  • Dividends to shareholders;
  • Acquisition of land and buildings; and
  • Costs incurred outside of Canada.

*IMPORTANT NOTE ON COST CALCULATIONS:

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

The Annex below provides more information on other programs that make up part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Priorities

RRRF is intended to support all of southern Ontario’s economic sectors, with a goal to provide assistance to those organizations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic but with the potential to continue operations. Priority consideration may be given to ensure support for the greatest number of businesses and organizations throughout southern Ontario, to those operating in the tourism sector, or to underrepresented groups in the economy.

Consideration may also be given to organizations that can support Canada's COVID-19 recovery efforts through the delivery of RRRF funding or assistance.

Quick Reference Guide on RRRF Liquidity Assistance

Funding for liquidity support

Eligible applicants may only apply for assistance under one of the two funding options (based on eligibility criteria and funding needs).

FedDev Ontario will determine the contribution amount based on the:

Organizations that provide support to businesses that are deemed to be eligible will generally receive non-repayable contributions unless they are assessed to have sufficient capacity to repay.

NOTE: Eligible applicants that have received a CEBA loan will only be eligible to apply for Option 2.

Option 1
Funding of $60,000 or less
Conditionally repayable contribution (interest-free loan)
Option 2
Funding up to $1,000,000
Unconditionally repayable contribution (interest-free loan)
Loan amount

RRRF loans will normally support six months (up to a maximum of 12 months) of eligible and supported fixed operating costs, up to a maximum of $60,000. 

The timeframe to consider costs is March 15, 2020, to September 30, 2021.

RRRF loans will normally support six months (up to a maximum of 12 months) of eligible and supported fixed operating costs, up to a maximum of $1 million.

The timeframe to consider costs is March 15, 2020, to September 30, 2021.

Top-up

Businesses that have received RRRF funding and can attest and demonstrate that they continue to face liquidity pressures and have not received duplicate support from other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures may be eligible for further financial support.

If you received support under this option and subsequently apply for additional assistance, the terms of your forgiveness will change and are described below.

Businesses that have received RRRF funding and can attest and demonstrate that they continue to face liquidity pressures and have not received duplicate support from other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures may be eligible for further financial support.

Repayment conditions

If you receive $40,000 or less:

Repaying 75 percent of the loan amount, or up to $30,000, on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

If you received more than $40,000 and up to $60,000:

The terms of your forgiveness will be subject to the following thresholds:

  • 25 percent on the first $40,000; plus
  • 50 percent on amounts above $40,000 and up to $60,000.

For clarity, the portion of forgiveness based on a rate of 25 percent and the portion of forgiveness based on a rate of 50 percent are blended into a single tranche of forgiveness, which is only available if all other amounts outstanding are repaid by December 31, 2022. For example, if $60,000 is received, no forgiveness is available unless $40,000 is repaid.

  • (Examples of the forgiveness calculation are included in the FAQ)

Repayment Schedule:

  • No payments are required until January 1, 2023, but applicants can opt to make payments any time until December 31, 2022.
  • If the non-forgivable portions of the RRRF loans (75 percent of the first $40,000 and 50 percent of the subsequent amount up to $20,000) are not repaid by December 31, 2022, the balance owing will be converted to an additional three-year contribution (fixed repayment schedule), beginning January 1, 2023, with no forgivable portion.
  • The contribution must be fully repaid by December 31, 2025.

Fully repayable:

  • 100 percent of the contribution to be repaid.

Grace Period

  • No scheduled monthly payments required until January 1, 2023.

Repayment Schedule:

Scheduled payments to FedDev Ontario start on January 1, 2023.

Agreement and disbursements

If an Application for Funding is approved, a Contribution Agreement will be executed between the Applicant and FedDev Ontario.

Approved contributions of $60,000 or less will be disbursed through a single advance payment following receipt of an executed (signed) Contribution Agreement.

If an Application for Funding is approved, a Contribution Agreement will be executed between the Applicant and FedDev Ontario.

Approved contributions greater than $100,000 will be disbursed through two advance payments:

  1. An advance payment for 80 percent of the contribution amount will be disbursed following receipt of an executed (signed) Contribution Agreement.
  2. An advance payment for the remaining 20 percent of the contribution amount will be disbursed upon submission of an attestation confirming that the initial 80 percent payment has been expended, the remaining 20 percent is required, and the organization remains operational.

Application process

Applications for funding for liquidity support will be accepted until June 30, 2021, or until the Fund is fully committed.

Refer to the Application Guide, in conjunction with these guidelines, for information and instructions on how to complete the RRRF Application for Funding. Please consult the FAQ for answers to common questions.

Application review

FedDev Ontario will review applications as they are received. Incomplete applications will not be assessed and will be considered ineligible for funding.

Applicants with incomplete applications are permitted to re-apply with completed applications including all required documentation.

Complete applications are those that include all prescribed documentation containing all information needed for FedDev Ontario to complete the review. Information should be accurate, verifiable, relevant and consistent. Complete applications will undergo a due diligence process where they are assessed against a number of factors. Further to a completed application, FedDev Ontario may require additional information, including details about the other COVID-19 relief measures an applicant took steps to receive since March 2020. Applicants are encouraged to keep these records and may attach them as supporting documentation at the time of their application. For example, this could include written confirmation from an applicant’s financial institution that they were denied support from the HASCAP.

Assessment criteria include, but are not limited to:

Reporting and disclosure

The recipient will be required to submit a Final Report that includes:

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

The names of recipients, the amount of funding approved and a brief description of the project are included in public records and disclosed on FedDev Ontario’s website in accordance with the Government of Canada’s proactive disclosure practices.

Other

FedDev Ontario reserves the right to modify these guidelines at any time without notice and may waive certain requirements on an exceptional basis.

ANNEX – Additional information on Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures

Businesses or organizations are expected to have already applied to other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures, for which they are/were eligible, including but not limited to:

Please note:

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