The COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty and anxiety for businesses and their employees. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the heart of our economy and our communities. As a source of local jobs and pride, they play a key role in the well-being of communities across the country. That is why the Government of Canada has implemented a series of concrete and tangible measures to help them retain their employees, pay rent and access capital to pay their bills.
Building on these measures, the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is being delivered through the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and local economies. RDAs are best positioned to provide this additional support because they work closely with communities across the country every day and are familiar with diverse local realities.
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that Atlantic Canadian businesses that are unable to access other existing measures can now apply for RRRF support through ACOA. As the RDA for Atlantic Canada, ACOA will work with key partners, such as Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) across the region to help Atlantic Canadian businesses get through these difficult times. A total of $110 million will be available for Atlantic Canadian businesses.
The Government of Canada’s efforts are making a difference for many local businesses, but some are still falling through the cracks, and are still ineligible, particularly in rural and remote communities. This is where the RRRF comes in, with $962 million – including $110 million for Atlantic Canada – to support businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the case, for example, for SMEs in the tourism sector that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and are, in some cases, ineligible for other federal programs.
Canada’s businesses are as diverse as Canadians are, and the immediate and concrete support available to them through the Fund will be tailored to their unique needs. In the months to come, they will be able to play a meaningful role in our economic recovery.
More information on the Fund is available on ACOA’s website.
"No matter how wide we extend the safety net, businesses across Canada continue to slip through the cracks. Many entrepreneurs are still anxious about whether they will get help. With nearly a billion dollars in support across the country, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will fill in some of the gaps. Our message to Canadians is clear: we are here for you now; we will be here for you in the weeks and months to come; and we will get through this together. We’ve got your back."