The expanded Regional Relief and Recovery Fund now offers up to an additional $20,000 for eligible small businesses needing continued financial support
February 5, 2021 – Edmonton, Alberta – The Government of Canada has been supporting small businesses and protecting jobs since the pandemic began, and will continue to do so for as long as it takes. Since its launch on May 13, 2020, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) has protected over 33,500 jobs in Western Canada by providing nearly $427 million to support over 7,400 businesses and organizations, of which nearly 45 percent are located in rural areas and 30 percent are owned by women.
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada announced an expansion of the RRRF to align with the increased funding available under the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). This follows the Government’s intention in the Fall Economic Statement, to increase RRRF funding by $500 million nationally, including over $250 million for Western Canada. This will make a total of more than $800 million available to meet strong demand to help western Canadian small businesses and organizations with liquidity needs that cannot be met by other federal support programs, such as the new Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP).
New applicants to the RRRF can now request up to $60,000 in interest-free, repayable support, up from $40,000 previously. Existing RRRF recipients can now apply for additional funding of up to $20,000, if they continue to suffer eligible COVID-19-related losses. Additional fully repayable liquidity support over $60,000 may also be available for eligible applicants.
With many travel and public health restrictions in place, Western Canada’s tourism sector has been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. This is why a minimum of 25 percent of RRRF funding across Canada is earmarked for local tourism-related businesses and organizations to help them to be ready for an eventual recovery of the industry.
“We’ve been listening to small businesses and tourism operators, and we understand that additional support was required to bridge them to our economic reopening and recovery. Covering an additional $20,000 of losses will help many small businesses make it through. My message to entrepreneurs is clear: We have stood with you from the start of this pandemic, and we’ll stand by you to the end.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
- RRRF is a national $2 billion needs-based program delivered by the Government of Canada’s regional development agencies, including Western Economic Diversification Canada, to fill gaps by helping support:– businesses and organizations unable to access other federal pandemic support programs; and– businesses and organizations that continue to experience hardship after accessing these measures.
- Up to 12 months of liquidity support is available to cover losses sustained between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, an increase of six months. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2021.
- This new funding increases the contribution limit from $40,000 to $60,000, based on eligibility.
- Eligible applicants can get funding up to $40,000, with 25 percent (up to $10,000) forgivable if the non-forgivable portion is repaid by December 31, 2022.
- Eligible applicants can apply for an additional funding over $40,000 and up to $60,000, with 50 percent (up to $10,000) forgivable if the non-forgivable portion is repaid by December 31, 2022.
- The fully repayable liquidity support over $60,000 is subject to different terms and different deadlines.
- Community Futures organizations across the West are delivering targeted RRRF support to small businesses in rural communities.
- In Western Canada, program delivery is also being complemented by the Women’s Enterprise Initiative.