Alternative Federal Financial Support for Canadian Small-and-Medium-Sized Businesses

The Federal Government provided details on the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) on May 13, 2020. This program allows Canada’s six regional development agencies (RDAs) to deliver $675 million in financial support to small-and-medium-sized enterprises that are unable to access other COVID-19 relief measures like the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) or the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). Companies who have received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) can still apply but the costs related to salaries will not be covered. FedDev Ontario will have $213 million in interest-free loans available to distribute to small-and-medium-sized businesses facing financial pressure throughout southern Ontario.

FedDev RRRF Eligibility

To be eligible, a company must:

  • Be a Canadian or provincially incorporated business, cooperative or an Indigenous-owned business located in Southern Ontario
    • Government organizations, holding companies, charitable or religious entities are not eligible
  • Have 1-499 full-time equivalent employees
  • Be facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Have applied for other COVID-19 emergency credit relief measures, for which they are eligible including CEBA, BCAP and other sector-specific programs (Farm Credit Canada, funding for Indigenous entrepreneurs, etc)
  • Be planning to continue to operate or resume operations
  • Be a viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic

Eligible Costs to be Covered

  • Capital lease payments for existing equipment and machinery
  • Salaries and Benefits
    • Only considered if the business is not eligible or was declined for CEWS or the NRC-IRAP IAP
  • Property Taxes
  • Utilities
  • Bank Charges and Interest Payments
  • Professional Fees
  • Monthly Insurance Payments
  • Rent
    • Applicants are expected to pursue the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), details of which are expected in mid-May.
  • Other applicable fixed operating costs

If there is significant demand for the available funding, priority may be given to companies which “support the government’s commitment to inclusive growth” or are in the manufacturing, technology and tourism industries. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis with no submission deadlines until the fund is fully committed. An application guide can be found here.

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