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Regional Relief and Recovery Fund - Frequently asked questions

This Fund is closed. Review our funding opportunities to learn about other FedDev Ontario support available.

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. What type of financial assistance is available?
  4. I am a not-for-profit organization. What support can RRRF provide?
  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. Who can apply for the $20,000 RRRF expansion?
  9. What are the forgiveness terms for RRRF loans? How have these changed with the $20,000 expansion?
  10. Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have received funding through other federal COVID-19 relief measures related to salaries and benefits?
  11. Should I apply to FedDev Ontario if I am currently being assessed under other COVID-19 relief measures?
  12. My business is pre-revenue, what are my options?
  13. How does the funding that FedDev Ontario is delivering through the RRRF differ from the funding being delivered by CFDCs?
  14. Can I receive support from FedDev Ontario and my local CFDC?
  15. 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?

HASCAP

  1. Why do I need to apply to HASCAP before the RRRF?
  2. I have reviewed the HASCAP website and do not think I am eligible. Can I now apply to RRRF?
  3. I have already applied for HASCAP and am not eligible. Can I apply for the RRRF, and what documentation do I need?
  4. I have received HASCAP funding. Can I still apply for RRRF?

General questions

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

FedDev Ontario is delivering the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) in southern Ontario. The 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.

To find out if you are eligible for support 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 2020, FedDev Ontario has been delivering the RRRF to businesses and organizations in southern Ontario. The RRRF program was expanded and extended in October 2020 to provide additional liquidity support to southern Ontario businesses and organizations impacted by the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. RRRF has been further extended until June 30, 2021, in order to continue providing COVID-19 relief funding to businesses and organizations that require support.

Key changes include:

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:

  1. A Canadian or provincially-incorporated business, co-operative, partnership or an Indigenous-owned business with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees; or
  2. 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
  3. Chambers of commerce, business or sector associations and other economic development organizations that provide support to businesses.

That meet the following:

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 first apply to the recently-launched Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program before requesting additional RRRF support.

If you received up to $40,000 in partially forgivable RRRF financial assistance, you may apply for a top-up to a maximum total amount of $60,000 (also conditionally repayable).

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 a simplified application form via the Application for Funding by answering “yes” to the first question. This will allow you to complete a shorter, streamlined form. 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) What type of financial assistance is available?

Funding is targeted at providing liquidity support (working capital for businesses, or cash-flow requirements for certain 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.

6) I am a not-for-profit organization. What support can RRRF provide?

The RRRF has been expanded to allow certain not-for-profit organizations to be eligible based on the nature of the organization:

Please review the program guidelines for more information.

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/were eligible, including:

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?

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund was introduced as part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to provide support to businesses unable to access other federal relief measures, or that require additional support. Sole proprietors are not supported directly by FedDev Ontario RRRF funding, however, sole proprietors located in rural and small communities serviced by a Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) may be eligible to receive RRRF funding through their local CFDC.

As well, sole proprietors may be eligible for support under the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) or the new Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP).

Please visit the Government of Canada COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for more information and updates on support available to businesses, workers and individuals.

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 other federal relief supports, including CEBA, but is still experiencing liquidity issues, 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) Who can apply for the $20,000 RRRF expansion?

Effective January 20, 2021, partially forgivable RRRF loans for eligible businesses increased from $40,000 to $60,000. RRRF recipients with up to $40,000 in partially forgivable RRRF loans from FedDev Ontario may apply for the RRRF expansion.

New applicants may also apply for partially forgivable loans of up to $60,000, provided that they have already applied and not received a loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

RRRF recipients who have become eligible for CEBA due to CEBA program changes do not need to apply to CEBA for the additional $20,000, and may apply directly to FedDev Ontario for a top-up, with total RRRF funding not to exceed $60,000. 

11) What are the forgiveness terms for RRRF loans? How have these changed with the $20,000 expansion?

The following forgiveness terms apply to all RRRF loans (original loan and expansion loan) with a partially forgivable funding component. In all examples, if the outstanding principal, other than the amount of potential loan forgiveness, is repaid by December 31, 2022, the remaining principal amount will be forgiven, provided that no default under the loan has occurred.

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:

If you received more than $40,000 and up to $60,000, or if you received a $40,000 loan and subsequently received up to $20,000 in additional funding through the RRRF expansion, the terms of your forgiveness will be subject to the following thresholds:

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.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Maximum Amount Borrowed: $40,000

Amount Repaid By December 31, 2022: $30,000

Available Forgiveness: $10,000 ($40,000 x 25%)

Maximum Amount Borrowed: $60,000

Amount Repaid By December 31, 2022: $40,000

Available Forgiveness: $20,000 ($40,000 x 25% + $20,000 x 50%)

Maximum Amount Borrowed: $50,000

Amount Repaid By December 31, 2022: $35,000

Available Forgiveness: $15,000 ($40,000 x 25% + $10,000 x 50%)

Maximum Amount Borrowed: $60,000

Amount Repaid By December 31, 2022: $20,000

Available Forgiveness: $0

The outstanding balance will be converted to a fixed repayment schedule, beginning January 1, 2023.

12) 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), the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), 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 may not be considered for support under the RRRF.

13) 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.

14) 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.

15) 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 $60,000. SMEs requesting assistance above $60,000 should apply directly to FedDev Ontario.

16) 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” business including, for example, retail shops, restaurants, and corner stores or a sole proprietor interested in a loan of up to $60,000 to support your COVID-19-affected business, you should consider applying for RRRF support from your local CFDC. SMEs requesting assistance above $60,000 should apply directly to FedDev Ontario.

17) What are eligible costs?

Only fixed (or non-deferred) operating costs will be considered. RRRF support is complementary to other COVID-19 relief measures and will not duplicate support provided by other government sources. Examples of eligible costs include:

Please review the guidelines for more information on eligible costs.


RRRF funding

18) How much funding is available per applicant?

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

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 September 30, 2021.

Please review the guidelines for more information.

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

For businesses and organizations (including social enterprises) that are engaged in commercial activities as a significant portion of operations, contributions are interest-free and repayable. See “Repayment Terms” below.

For organizations that provide support to businesses, financial assistance will generally be in the form of non-repayable contributions unless they are assessed to have sufficient repayment capacity from commercial activities.

Repayment Terms:

For conditionally repayable contributions up to $60,000, no payments are required until January 1, 2023, but the recipient can opt to make payments any time before this date.

For unconditionally repayable contributions (i.e., loans above $60,000 and loans valued at $60,000 and under that do not include a partially forgivable component), no payments are required until January 1, 2023, when monthly repayments commence.

For all contributions, there is a grace period until December 31, 2022, before scheduled monthly payments commence. Please consult your contribution agreement for specific details related to repayment.

Please review the program guidelines for more information.

20) 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

21) 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.

22) 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.

23) What is the deadline for applications?

New: The deadline to submit an application for RRRF funding is June 30, 2021, or until the Fund is fully committed.

Applications will be assessed on a first-come first-served basis as they are received.


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:

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.

25) 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.

26) 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.

27) 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

28) 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.

29) 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.

30) 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.

31) 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.

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

Organizations 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 end. Financial statements should be emailed to the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund monitoring inbox.

33) 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.

34) 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.


HASCAP

35) Why do I need to apply to HASCAP before the RRRF?

The RRRF is intended to be a backstop measure for businesses that have exhausted all other COVID-19 relief measures. The Government of Canada launched the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) on February 1, 2021, which is open to businesses in all sectors that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Effective February 1, 2021, all new RRRF applicants are required to apply to HASCAP before accessing the RRRF.

Should you have applied for RRRF funding on or before February 1, 2021, we will continue to assess your application, subject to available funding.

36) I have reviewed the HASCAP website and do not think I am eligible. Can I now apply to RRRF?

FedDev Ontario expects all applicants to have taken steps to access HASCAP before applying to the RRRF. If you are deemed ineligible for HASCAP after consultation with your financial institution, you have the opportunity to explain the situation in the space provided in your Application for Funding for the RRRF.

You are encouraged to keep written confirmation from your financial institution regarding your HASCAP eligibility. These records may be used as supporting documentation in your request for RRRF support.

37) I have already applied for HASCAP and am not eligible. Can I apply for the RRRF, and what documentation do I need?

Should your business not qualify for HASCAP, you may be eligible for RRRF support. You will be required to attest and demonstrate that you have pursued HASCAP when completing your Application for Funding for the RRRF. Please use the drop-down menu and space provided in the COVID-19 section of the form to explain the outcome of your interaction with the HASCAP program.

You are encouraged to keep written confirmation from your financial institution regarding your HASCAP eligibility. These records may be used as supporting documentation in your request for RRRF support.

38) I have received HASCAP funding. Can I still apply for RRRF?

Businesses that have received HASCAP funding and require additional liquidity beyond the support received from HASCAP and other available COVID-19 relief measures may apply for the RRRF. FedDev Ontario will not duplicate funding received from other Government of Canada relief measures. RRRF funding may not be used to pay off other higher interest loans, such as HASCAP or BCAP.

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