From the outset, the Government of Canada has taken action to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect their contributions to the Canadian economy. One measure of support is the $1.5 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), delivered by Canada’s Regional Development Agencies and intended for small and medium-sized enterprises that have been unable to access other federal relief measures, putting jobs and livelihoods at risk.
The pandemic has created new barriers and challenges for Manitoba businesses. The recent rise in COVID-19 cases has added to these challenges. Traditional supports, such as industry associations and Chambers of Commerce, have been working hard to address these challenges. This front-line network of local non-profit organizations offers solutions for local businesses and is important to the health of our economy.
Support for local businesses
Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced over $2.8 million for a robust series of initiatives led by Manitoba’s non-profit business support network. This RRRF funding for 23 organizations will ultimately support enterprises in all stages of the business lifecycle, from nurturing start-ups to the ongoing development of mature firms. Many of the programs being funded are already under way, bringing immediate support for local companies, and making a difference for families and communities across the West.
- The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was established to mitigate financial pressure experienced by businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and assist them to continue their operations and keep paying their employees.
- In the West, over $567 million in RRRF support is flowing through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).
- Through RRRF, WD is providing repayable interest-free contributions to eligible western firms seeking up to $40,000.
- Through RRRF, WD is also providing up to $1,000,000 in interest-free funding to cope with financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.
- Many business support organizations have been vital resources for local businesses to first, adapt to lockdown regulations, and then, to be ready as the economy began to open up. Through RRRF, WD is funding programs to help companies adapt to COVID-related requirements and new ways of doing business.