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Back in April of this year, which now feels like years ago to many people, when the pandemic began to truly disrupt the economy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Government of Canada’s six regional development agencies (RDAs) would be distributing a total $675 million in financial assistance to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that were unable to access other federal funding.

Through FedDev Ontario, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides eligible southern Ontario businesses with government loans of up to $40,000, including a further amount of up to $1 million in COVID-19-related support.

As the RRRF program continues to offer government funding support across the country to a variety of businesses in all types of industries, a combined 1,760 western Canadian businesses are currently seeing an accumulative $95 million flowing into their organizations towards the recovery of financial and economic strains that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Will the $95M Funding Help Canadian Businesses?

Of the total RRRF funding available, Ontario has been allocated $301.9 million to be delivered by FedDev Ontario to southern Ontario businesses and through FedNor for northern Ontario businesses. A similar total of $304.2 million has been allocated for Western Canada, of which $95 million has already been distributed to 1,760 western Canadian businesses. The recent RRRF loans are estimated to preserve around 6,800 jobs across the western region of Canada which includes the four provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

“Our government will always be there to support Canadians, stabilize the economy and help businesses grow. We’re here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help Western Canada’s economy come back strong.”

– Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

The interest-free, repayable RRRF loans are helping SMEs stay afloat by providing employers with government funding to keep their employees, pay building rents, and soften the overall setbacks such as decreased demand and store closures generated by the pandemic. Many of the eligible businesses obtaining loans have fewer than 100 employees, such as retailers, restaurants, and smaller vendors, some with as little as five employees. Organizations with over 100 employees are also receiving RRRF government funding, as long as their businesses meet the required RRRF program and applicant eligibility.

The FedDev Ontario RRRF program offers up to $40,000 in repayable interest-free loans, of which up to 25% (to a maximum of $10,000) can be converted to a non-repayable grant if 75% of the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.

Learn More About the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

Created by the Government of Canada in response to COVID-19 economic challenges, the RRRF program continues to accept applications for SMEs looking for financial support to help their businesses make it through these difficult and changing times caused by the world crisis that is COVID-19. The RRRF government loan program helps Canadian businesses sustain their fixed operating costs to outlast the economic hits of the pandemic.

Connect with the Mentor Works team to learn how your business can apply for government funding assistance through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), or visit our COVID-19 Support Page and discover other funding programs established in support of Canadian businesses. 

COVID-19 Government Support for Canadian Businesses

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Alena Barreca has worked in a variety of media communications roles in numerous industries. As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Alena enjoys utilizing her creative and analytical mind to help strengthen ongoing marketing strategies.

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