With the novel coronavirus putting financial strain on many Canadian businesses, the federal and provincial governments have swiftly introduced a wide variety of COVID-19-related funding support programs – but not all businesses have been eligible to receive funding through these programs. This is why the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was created to provide financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support the fixed operating costs of Ontario SMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian federal government recently announced $675 million in financial support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), of which $301.9 million has been allocated to Ontario.
Regional Relief & Recovery Fund Eligibility
Your company may be eligible to receive funding through RRRF if you are:
- An incorporated business operating in Ontario with 1-499 full-time equivalent employees;
- Have applied to other Government of Canada COVID-19 emergency credit relief measures, for which you are eligible but did not receive or qualify; and
- Facing financial pressures as result of the COVID-19 pandemic and still planning to continue to resume operations.
RRRF Funding for Northern and Southern Ontario
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is offered through two Regional Development Agencies, FedDev Ontario and CanNor. FedDev is administering two funding options to businesses located in southern Ontario with CanNor administering one funding option to businesses located in northern Ontario. The breakdown for those programs is as follows:
FedDev Ontario – RRRF for Southern Ontario
- Funding Option 1: Up to $40,000 in conditionally repayable interest-free loans, of which up to 25% (to a maximum of $10,000) will be converted to a grant if 75% of the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.
- Funding Option 2: Up to $500,000 in unconditionally repayable interest-free loans.
- Priority Sectors:
FedNor – RRRF for Northern Ontario
- Up to 100% of eligible costs to a maximum $250,000 repayable interest-free loan:
- For recipients of up to $40,000 in conditionally repayable interest-free loans, up to 25% (to a maximum of $10,000) will be converted to a grant if 75% of the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.
- For northern Ontario Not-for-Profits, up to 100% to a maximum $250,000 in non-repayable funding.
- Priority Sectors:
- Health & Life Sciences
- Mining Supply & Services
- Information and Communication Technology
- Not-for-Profit: Chambers of Commerce, Industry Associations, Tourism Organizations
Eligible Activities and Costs:
- Salaries and Benefits (only costs not covered by CEWS or NRC-IRAP Innovation Assistance Program)
- Capital Lease on Existing Equipment & Machinery
- Property Taxes & Utilities
- Bank Charges & Interest Expenses
- Professional Fees & Monthly Insurance
- Vehicle or Fleet Operating Expenses
- Commercial Mortgage Payments (Northern Ontario Only) / Rent (must apply to the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program first)
- Oher applicable fixed operating costs such as:
- Cleaning supplies and other additional health and safety measures
- One-time stabilization expenditures
RRRF Program Timelines:
- Eligible for retroactive expenses beginning March 15, 2020;
- Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis with no submission deadlines until funding is depleted; and
- Single Application and Assessment where approved applicants are eligible for advance payments of up to 80-100% of eligible expenses.
Reach out to a member of the Mentor Works team to learn how your business can access funding options through the RRRF or others among the 75+ active government funding programs. View additional coronavirus-related government support programs on our COVID-19 Support page.