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Regional Relief and Recovery Fund - Backgrounder


May 13, 2020

COVID-19: FedDev Ontario now accepting applications for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that southern Ontario businesses can now apply for Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) support through FedDev Ontario

The Government of Canada’s efforts are making a difference for many local businesses, but some are still falling through the cracks — particularly in rural and remote communities. This is where the RRRF comes in, with $962 million nationally — including $252.4 million in southern Ontario — to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who are unable to qualify for existing relief measures. Canada’s businesses are as diverse as Canadians are, and the Fund’s immediate, concrete help is tailored to their unique needs.

In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario will deliver:

  • $213 million for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) facing financial pressure; and
  • $39.4 million to provide rural businesses with access to capital and technical support, delivered by southern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations.

$213 million for SMEs facing financial pressure

The RRRF provides $213 million in support to southern Ontario SMEs that do not qualify for, or have been declined for, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be Canadian or provincially incorporated businesses, co-operatives or Indigenous-owned businesses located in southern Ontario with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees;
  • Be facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of COVID-19;
  • Have been a viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic and plan to continue to operate their business or resume operations.
  • Have already applied to other Government of Canada emergency credit relief measures for which they are eligible, as outlined in the program guidelines.

Priority may be given to SMEs in the manufacturing, technology, tourism and other sectors key to the region, that are major employers in small communities or that support the government’s commitment to underrepresented groups.

Please see the Program Guidelines for more information.

Applications can be submitted for support for fixed operating costs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, including how to apply, please visit the FedDev Ontario website.

$39.4 million to support rural businesses with access to capital, delivered by southern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations

In order to provide targeted assistance to the small towns and communities they serve, CFDCs will focus on assisting “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants corner stores, etc., and businesses of strategic importance to their communities, with loans up to $40,000.

  • Eligible CFDC applicants must also meet the following criteria:
    • established prior to March 1, 2020
    • impacted adversely by the COVID-19 pandemic
    • viable and not experiencing liquidity or other financial difficulties prior to March 1, 2020
    • have attempted to access other federal relief supports and were ineligible, rejected, or require funding for expenses in excess of support already received, with priority given to applicants who were ineligible or rejected from other federal relief supports.

Applicants cannot receive RRRF assistance from both their local CFDC and FedDev Ontario.

SMEs are encouraged to visit the FedDev Ontario website to determine which stream is right for them.

Application details

A high volume of applications is anticipated. All applicants are encouraged to review the Program Guidelines prior to submitting an application, and contact FedDev Ontario by telephone should you have additional questions.

FedDev Ontario is accepting applications on an ongoing basis and will review on a first-come first served basis until funding is fully committed.

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News Release: COVID-19: FedDev Ontario launches Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support local economies

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