Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund was announced by the Government of Canada to provide financial support directly to small and medium-sized women-owned businesses. Loans of up to $60,000 are available through WESK to address COVID-19 impacts on short-term stability. This access to financing will support small enterprises that are unable to access larger federal relief funding programs, or unable to obtain a loan/credit from traditional financial institutions, and that are struggling with working capital needs. The deadline to apply is June 30th.

About the RRRF

Eligibility Criteria
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Eligible applicants include sole proprietors, partnership, corporation, social enterprise, or other similar organization. Eligible applicants must also meet the following criteria which will be captured in an attestation form:

  • established prior to March 1, 2020;
  • be a woman or an operation owned and controlled by a woman or women (“Woman owned” is defined as >50% ownership)
  • be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant (permanent resident); or a legal entity owned and controlled by a Canadian citizen(s) or landed immigrant(s);
  • be a registered business in Saskatchewan;
  • be operating and intend to continue to operate in Saskatchewan;
  • be a Saskatchewan resident, 18 years of age or older;
  • impacted adversely due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • have fewer than 500 full-time employees (FTEs);
  • viable and not experiencing financial pressures prior to March 1, 2020; and
  • are ineligible, rejected, and/or not receiving other federal relief supports for the same expenditures.
Eligible Costs
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RRRF loans are to cover non-deferrable fixed operating expenses. Costs such as rent, salaries and benefits will only be considered if the applicant is ineligible, rejected and/or not already receiving assistance for these costs from other federal and provincial funding measures.

  • salaries, and benefits (will only be considered if not eligible or declined from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy;
  • property taxes;
  • rent; (will only be considered if not eligible or declined from Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) or Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS));
  • utilities;
  • cleaning supplies and additional safety measures;
  • bank interest/charges;
  • office supplies and vehicle operating expenses;
  • lease payments for existing equipment and machinery;
  • regularly scheduled debt payments (cannot be used to pay lump sums on loan balances);
  • professional fees;
  • insurances; and
  • other eligible expenses associated with technology, web services, e-commerce, retooling, rethinking workflows, automation, robotics, developing new markets, etc.
Loan Parameters
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  • Maximum assistance will be $60,000;
  • 0% interest and no principal payments until December 31, 2022;
  • Principal repayments can be voluntarily made at any time;
  • Repayment terms as described below (further examples in our FAQ);
  • If the Client is unable to repay the loan by December 31, 2022, the loan will be converted to a three-year term loan with interest rates up to 5%, effective January 1, 2023. The full balance must be repaid no later than December 31, 2025;
Repayment Terms
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If you repay the outstanding balance on or before December 31, 2022, the following percentage of the loan will be forgiven:

  • 25% on the first $40,000; and
  • 50% on amounts above $40,000 and up to $60,000.

The forgivable portion is only available if the entire outstanding amount is repaid by December 31, 2022.

For funding of up to $40,000:

  • Repayment of 75%, or up to $30,000, of the loan amount, on or before December 31, 2022, will result in the forgiveness of 25%, or up to $10,000 of the total loan.
  • No scheduled monthly repayments are required until after December 31, 2022.
  • If 75% of the loan amount is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the balance owing will be converted to an additional three (3) year term repayable loan (with a fixed monthly repayment schedule), beginning January 2023, with no forgivable portion.
  • The full balance of the loan must be repaid in full no later than December 31, 2025

For funding above $40,000 and up to $60,000

  • Repayment of 50% or up to $10,000, of the loan amount, on or before December 31, 2022, will result in the forgiveness of 50% or up to $10,000 of the total loan.
  • No scheduled monthly repayments are required until after December 31, 2022.
  • If 50% of the loan amount is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the balance owing will be converted to an additional three (3) year term repayable loan (with a fixed monthly repayment schedule), beginning January 2023, with no forgivable portion.
  • The full balance of the loan must be repaid in full no later than December 31, 2025.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my business qualify as woman-owned?
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Woman-owned (or women-owned) is defined as >50% ownership. In addition, there must be no shareholder, marital, or other agreement in place that restricts the woman’s right to vote and thus have control over the company. For control to be evident, a woman or women must be actively involved in the daily operations of the business. If you have exactly 50% ownership currently, or are unsure if you qualify, please contact WESK at loansadmin@wesk.ca.

My business is eligible for CEBA. Which financial support should I apply to?
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RRRF funding is intended for those businesses who do not qualify for CEBA. Therefore, please apply to CEBA if you are eligible.

I’m interested in pivoting my business strategy. Does the RRRF cover these types of expenses?
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Yes, expenses associated with retooling, rethinking workflows, and developing new markets are eligible including technology expenses, web services, e-commerce (online sales), automation, digitization, robotics, etc.

What businesses are not eligible to apply?
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Your business must have been established and be able to demonstrate financial viability prior to March 1, 2020. Your business cannot be a government organization or body, a union, charitable, religious or religious organization, or an entity that promotes violence or discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, color, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, age or mental or physical disability, contrary to applicable laws.

Organizations that have accepted other federal government COVID-19 financial supports such as those listed below will not be eligible:

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
  • Emergency Loan Program for Indigenous Businesses
  • RRRF – WD Program
  • RRRF – Community Futures Program
I’m an existing WESK term loan client. My loan with WESK has not been paid yet; can I use this fund to pay off my WESK loan?
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The RRRF loan cannot be used to make lump sum payments on debt or to payout your loan with WESK. However, funds can be used for fixed regularly scheduled debt servicing payments, including your existing WESK loan.

What happens if I need more than $60,000?
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If you require more than the $60,000 offered by WESK RRRF, please apply through the Western Economic Diversification (WD) RRRF Program. Clients are not able to receive RRRF assistance from both a WEI and directly through WD.

How do I apply for RRRF?
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To apply, create an account on our RRRF application portal and complete the appropriate application. You will be able to save your application on the portal and come back to it later if you want. The draft application will expire in 14 days if not completed in that time.

Where can I check the status of my application request?
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After a decision has been made, a WESK staff member will let you know. You can log onto the application portal at any time to see the current status of your application. Please ensure that you add the email address wesk@commongoalsapp.com to your contact list to ensure you receive all notifications and announcements from the application portal.

Once I have submitted my application, how long will it take before the funds are deposited into my account?
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It will depend on the number of applications we receive, and if there is any follow-up required on your application, but our goal is to have the funds in your bank account approximately one week from the time your application is completed in full.

What happens if there are multiple owners in my business?
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Only one person from the organization can agree to the legal documents in the online enrollment process for the RRRF. The person enrolling your organization must be majority shareholder, have the legal authority to attest on behalf of the organization and legally bind the organization to the terms of the loan agreement.

Will you be checking my personal credit (Equifax)?
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If you have received a loan from WESK within the last year we will not pull a new credit report on you unless required. If you have never had a loan with WESK will pull information from credit bureaus.

How do I apply for the RRRF expansion loan?
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To apply for the RRRF expansion loan, you will need to log into our RRRF application portal using the email and password you created to complete your original RRRF application. (There is a reset password if you need assistance.) Please complete the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) Expansion application. You will be able to save your application on the portal and come back to it later if you want. The draft application will expire in 14 days if not completed in that time.

Is there new eligibility criteria for the RRRF expansion funding?
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No, any new funding submissions must meet the same RRRF eligibility criteria outlined.

Can I apply for an amount other than $20,000 for the expansion?
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Businesses applying for the expansion can apply for any amount up to $20,000 based on financial need and eligible expenses.

Will I automatically get approved for additional $20,000 if I have already received RRRF funding, or is there a chance I will get declined?
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Applicants who have already received RRRF funding must apply separately for the expansion. In order to receive funding, applicants must meet all eligible criteria and demonstrate ongoing financial need and approval is subject to funding availability.

Can I apply for the RRRF expansion if my original RRRF application was declined?
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No, you cannot apply for the expansion if your original RRRF application has been declined. However, you can re-apply to the RRRF program, if your circumstances have changed.

Can I start making voluntary repayments?
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Yes! If you would like to start setting up monthly automatic withdrawals, please email us at: loansadmin@wesk.ca and we can set up a repayment schedule to ensure you pay off the required amount in order to be eligible for the forgiveness. We also accept e-transfers to RRRFpayment@wesk.ca if you would prefer to make periodic or monthly repayments at your own discretion.

If you’re e-transferring us, please make sure to include your full name and business name into the message part of the e-transfer.

If I have a regular WESK term loan, can I reduce or defer my regular loan payments to pay off my RRRF loan first?
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No. Your regular loan payments would have been considered eligible expenditures for the use of the funds that were approved. Any payments made will first be applied to the original loan before being allocated to the RRRF repayments. All WESK loans must remain in good standing to be eligible for the forgiveness, including payments, financial reporting, etc.

What are the repayment terms for RRRF funding? Can you provide some examples?
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If you voluntarily repay 75% of the base loan value and 50% of the supplementary loan value, on or before December 31, 2022, the following percentage of the loan will be forgiven:

  • 25% of the first $40,000; and
  • 50% of amounts above $40,000 and up to $60,000.

Example 1:
Total Amount Borrowed: $20,000

  • Base loan $20,000
  • Supplementary loan $0

Amount Repaid by December 31, 2022: $15,000

Available Forgiveness: $5,000

Example 2:
Total Amount Borrowed: $40,000

  • Base loan $40,000
  • Supplementary loan $0

Amount Repaid by December 31, 2022: $30,000
Available Forgiveness: $10,000

Example 3:
Total Amount Borrowed: $40,000

  • Base loan $40,000
  • Supplementary loan $0

Amount Repaid by December 31, 2022: $25,000
Available Forgiveness: $0

Example 4:
Total Amount Borrowed: $45,000

  • Base loan $40,000
  • Supplementary loan $5,000

Amount Repaid by December 31, 2022: $32,500
Available Forgiveness: $15,000 ($40,000 × 25% + $5,000 × 50%)

Example 5:
Total Amount Borrowed: $50,000

  • Base loan $40,000
  • Supplementary loan $10,000

Amount Repaid by December 31, 2022: $35,000
Available Forgiveness: $15,000 ($40,000 × 25% + $10,000 x 50%)

Example 6:
Total Amount Borrowed: $50,000

  • Base loan $40,000
  • Supplementary loan $10,000

Amount Repaid by December 31, 2022: $30,000
Available Forgiveness: $10,000 ($40,000 × 25%)

Example 7:
Total Amount Borrowed: $60,000

  • Base loan $40,000
  • Supplementary loan $20,000

Amount Repaid by December 31, 2022: $40,000
Available Forgiveness: $20,000 ($40,000 × 25% + $20,000 × 50%)

Example 8:
Total Amount Borrowed: $60,000

  • Base loan $40,000
  • Supplementary loan $20,000

Amount Repaid by December 31, 2022: $35,000
Available Forgiveness: $10,000 ($40,000 × 25%)

Not from Saskatchewan? Check out our counterparts across Western Canada below:

Pour obtenir de l’aide concernant votre demande au titre du FARR et d’autres services en français, veuillez communiquer avec le Conseil de la Coopération de la Saskatchewan.

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