FedDev Ontario Extends and Expands Regional Relief & Recovery Fund (RRRF)

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UPDATE: The RRRF program is seeing numerous changes as it continues to help Canadian businesses adapt to COVID-19. View our Regional Relief & Recovery Fund (RRRF) for the latest info.

Heavy financial strains on thousands of Canadian businesses continue to loom as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic refuses to wither. Doing their best to ease the seemingly inevitable economic impacts, the federal and provincial governments continue to output grants and loans via a wide variety of COVID-19-related funding support programs – but not all businesses are eligible to receive funding through a number of these programs due to eligibility criteria. This is why the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) has been instrumental in providing financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support the fixed operating costs of SMEs located in Ontario that have been affected by the global pandemic.

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) has been extended and expanded in southern Ontario. RRRF funding now supports incurred costs of up to a maximum $1 million, and select not-for-profits are now eligible to apply for funding.  

The RRRF was launched during a critical time in May 2020 with an initial investment of $252.4 million towards southern Ontario businesses in support of combatting COVID-19 impacts. Recently, on October 2, 2020, FedDev Ontario announced an additional $184 million for southern Ontario businesses to continue to help organizations through the ongoing economic crisis. In total, FedDev Ontario via the RRRF has invested over $850 million of pandemic relief and recovery support towards a wide range of businesses across Canada.

FedDev Ontario Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) Changes

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) funding amounts and eligibility criteria have recently been extended and expanded via FedDev Ontario for businesses located in southern Ontario.

Key new changes for RRRF pandemic funding support include:

  • Funding now supports operating costs incurred during the first year of the pandemic, up to a maximum of $1 million via Option 1.
  • Not-for-profit organizations that provide support services to businesses are now eligible to apply for the RRRF non-repayable loans.
  • There is an optional two-year grace period for both options where no payments are required until April 1, 2023, but eligible applicants receiving RRRF loans can opt to make payments any time before March 31, 2023.

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;
  • Not-for-profit organizations that provide support services to businesses (e.g., business or sector organizations);
  • Not-for-profit organizations, including social enterprises, that are engaged in commercial activities (i.e., conduct that is commercial in character such as selling, bartering or leasing).

RRRF Funding for Northern and Southern Ontario

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) 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 March 31, 2023.
  • Funding Option 2: Up to $1,000,000 in unconditionally repayable interest-free loans with a two-year grace period where no scheduled monthly repayments are required until April 1, 2023.

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:
    • Agri-Food
    • Forestry
    • Health & Life Sciences
    • Mining Supply & Services
    • Manufacturing
    • Tourism
    • 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)
  • Expenditures by not-for-profit organizations that provide support services to businesses to mitigate COVID-19 impacts
  • Other applicable fixed operating costs such as:
    • Cleaning supplies and other additional health and safety measures
    • One-time stabilization expenditures

RRRF Program Timelines:

  • Eligible expenses for retroactive costs from March 15, 2020 until March 31, 2021;
  • 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.

Funding Funding Now, Contact Mentor Works

Updated: January 15, 2021


    1. Hi Peter – The specifics of this eligible expense are a part of your overall RRRF budget, which would be detailed in the application. If you would like help with the RRRF application, please feel free to contact us directly and we can help answer questions.

    1. Hi Corey – Thanks for the insight. We’re glad that you’re checking in on your application to see if they have an update, as RRRF is an incredibly popular program and is reviewing applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. We hope you hear a response shortly.

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