It is no surprise to anyone that countless Canadian businesses, and many more worldwide, have been hit hard economically by the pandemic that continues to dominate headlines and health centres in nearly every community. Fortunately, the Government of Canada rapidly arranged and legislated government funding programs for COVID-19 support, not only for individual citizens with programs such as CERB, but with funding to help businesses in various sectors across the country to stay afloat during difficult times.
FedDev Ontario has announced funding of $4,500,000 from the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to support Franco-Ontarian SMEs that were affected by COVID-19.
With the goal of supporting Franco-Ontarian organizations affected by the economic hit of COVID-19, the RRRF has awarded $4,500,000 to three organizations located in southern Ontario to distribute the collective relief and recovery funding to over 460 small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). The three organizations – (1) l’Assemblée de francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO), (2) Prescott Russell Community Development Corporation (CDC), and (3) Societé Économique de l’Ontario (SÉO) – have recently received a portion of the total funding amount and have begun distributing the government grants to support SME business recovery.
What is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)?
Initially announced this past April, the RRRF is a $962-million funding program tasked to support Canadian businesses that may not have prior ties to financial assistance or which do not meet the eligibility criteria for other federal COVID-19 support programs. FedDev Ontario has been assigned $213 million from the RRRF to provide short-term financial relief and recovery funding to businesses affected by the pandemic.
Through RRRF, FedDev Ontario supports regional and rural SMEs located in southern Ontario by providing interest-free repayable loans that will reduce fixed operating costs for businesses with revenues that have been affected by COVID-19. For SME businesses located in northern Ontario, the RRRF program distributes funding from CanNor.
How will the $4.5M RRRF Investment Help SME Business?
$1.5 million from the RRRF aid is being issued to Societé Économique de l’Ontario (SÉO), a provincial network that works with the Francophone and bilingual community in economic development, employment, and entrepreneurship. They will deliver targeted technical advisory services to Franco-Ontarian businesses in the southern Ontario region.
“This funding is an additional boost for the Franco-Ontarian community to help it thrive and succeed in a post-COVID economy. We are working hard to help businesses come back stronger than ever.”
– Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.
L’Assemblée de francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO), a uniting organization that strives to promote and defend the rights of over 744,000 Franco-Ontarians, and the Prescott Russell Community Development Corporation (CDC), a bilingual support agency for local economic development, will receive a combined investment of $3 million to provide loans to bilingual SMEs and community groups, including not-for-profit organizations.
SMEs located in the official language minority communities (OLMCs) within southern Ontario will each receive funding of up to $20,000 towards the costs of reopening their businesses, alleviating their revenue loss and assisting to recover their resources.
Learn more about the RRRF Government Funding
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is delivered through two Regional Development Agencies, FedDev Ontario and CanNor. FedDev currently offers two funding options to businesses located in southern Ontario, with CanNor offering one funding option to businesses located in northern Ontario.
Connect with the Mentor Works team or visit our COVID-19 Support Page to learn how your business could access funding opportunities through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) or through alternative government funding programs.