Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
On October 2, 2020, an additional $60.2 million was allocated to help Atlantic Canadian businesses and organizations that still need help to deal with the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19. Eligible SMEs and business support organizations requiring additional assistance to recover from the pandemic are encouraged to apply for the RRRF through ACOA or their local CBDC.
The COVID-19 pandemic is significantly affecting businesses, workers and communities across the country.
The Government of Canada is taking action to make sure everyone gets the support needed. It recognizes that some business owners and support organizations have not been able to access other federal emergency support measures. That is why it is allocating more than $1.5 billion through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund: to address gaps left by other support measures.
$170 million in support for affected Atlantic Canadian businesses and communities
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Atlantic Association of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) are distributing the RRRF in Atlantic Canada.
The RRRF is complementary to existing federal programs
You must first apply for other federal support measures such as the Canada Emergency Business Account benefit, the Wage Subsidy benefit and the Commercial Rent assistance for small businesses, among others. Applicants are required to attest that they applied for other federal benefits and were approved, rejected or deemed ineligible.
Please note: On June 26, 2020, the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) was expanded to support more owner-operated businesses. Sole proprietors, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends may now be eligible for $40,000 interest-free loans from their banks, in co-operation with Export Development Canada, to help cover operating costs during the pandemic. As of June 26, 2020, applicants who may be eligible for the expanded CEBA should first apply for that measure before applying to the RRRF. For more information on the expanded CEBA and its eligibility criteria, please visit the CEBA webpage and read the announcement.
Just over $170 million will be allocated in Atlantic Canada:
Find details on these measures and others on the support for business page of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website.
Who can apply to the RRRF?
Businesses and organizations that have either:
- Applied for other federal relief measures and have not been able to secure funds; or
- Accessed COVID-19 relief measures and continue to experience hardship.
Businesses in sectors that are critical to the resilience and survival of Atlantic Canada’s economy, such as advanced manufacturing, ocean industries, clean growth technology, and tourism, may be given priority.
How to apply
- If you are unsure whether the RRRF meets your needs, speak with an ACOA program officer;
- Fill out the RRRF application form online;
- Send us your application form:
- Visit the CBDC website and click on your province for information on how to apply for RRRF funding.
Urban main street lenders
ACOA has enlisted third-party organizations to deliver some funding from the RRRF for urban Main Street support in select cities in Atlantic Canada. Find your local lender below and follow the link for information on how to apply.
- Charlottetown: CBDC P.E.I.
- Fredericton: CBDC Southwest
- Halifax: CEED
- Moncton: CBDC Westmorland-Albert
- Saint John: CBDC Charlotte/Kings
- St. John’s: Metro Business Opportunities
After you apply
ACOA will assess applications as soon as it receives them. We can quickly process applications that are in good order. Please reach out to ACOA to discuss your situation before you apply to ensure a seamless and speedy application process.
If you need additional information
- ACOA clients: contact your program officer directly;
- All other businesses and organizations: call 1-888-576-4444 or send an email to ACOA.information.APECA@canada.ca.
If your business is located outside of Atlantic Canada, please contact the regional development agency in your region to see whether the RRRF might be able to help you.
Frequently asked questions
When can I apply for RRRF funding?
ACOA is now accepting applications for the RRRF online. We will continue to accept and assess applications until March 31, 2021, or until the funding runs out, whichever comes first.
I have not received federal emergency funds from other federal programs. Will I automatically get support through the RRRF?
ACOA and the CBDCs are making every effort to extend the RRRF to as many businesses as possible to ensure none are left behind. However, demand for funds may exceed what is available and some businesses may need to seek other options.
Please reach out to ACOA with any questions you have related to your specific needs. ACOA staff are well equipped to guide you through the various federal and provincial support measures available to you.
My application for funding was rejected under the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA). What type of funding can I apply for under the RRRF?
A business that did not qualify for or that has been rejected by the Canadian Emergency Business Account can apply for a conditionally repayable contribution up to a maximum of $40,000, where 25% – up to a maximum of $10,000 – is non-repayable if certain conditions are met. In order to be eligible for this, your business must have been registered in Atlantic Canada on or before March 1. Please consult an ACOA official to discuss your particular situation and needs.
If your business has been rejected by the Canadian Emergency Business Account or any other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief support program or has received relief funding from other federal measures but is still left with gaps, a repayable contribution may be available. Businesses that play a key role in the community, that are experiencing liquidity issues and that can demonstrate they are still active or were active until March 15, 2020, may be eligible for funding. Please consult an ACOA official to discuss your particular situation and needs.
How will I receive ACOA funding under the RRRF?
Once you have accepted an offer of approved funds, ACOA may provide you with an advance of up to half of that amount. This will help ensure that you have access to the cash flow you need to keep operating and protect jobs. ACOA will provide the rest of the funding after you submit valid claims to ACOA.
Will I have to repay the RRRF support I get from ACOA?
RRRF contributions are repayable. If you receive RRRF support, you will benefit from a two-year “grace” period ending December 31, 2022. You will be required to start payments to ACOA on January 1, 2023 and to repay the amount in full by December 31, 2025.
What is the maximum amount I can get for my business through the RRRF?
Depending on the circumstances, if your business does not qualify for existing federal measures, you may be eligible for funding amounts comparable to federal benefits already announced. Please consult an ACOA official to discuss your particular situation and needs.
Are there any restrictions on how I can use RRRF funds?
You can only use the funds from the RRRF to pay for eligible costs as described in your contribution agreement. Eligible costs will be determined on a case-by-case basis, which you can discuss with your ACOA program officer.
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