Regional Relief and Recovery Fund support for Atlantic Canadian businesses tops $63 million
More than 290 businesses across Atlantic Canada receive RRRF funding from ACOA to protect thousands of jobs and address the impact of COVID-19
September 30, 2020 – Moncton, NB – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
COVID-19 has had a severe impact on businesses of all sizes across the country, and those whose livelihoods depend on them. Across Atlantic Canada, local businesses have faced challenges keeping their employees, paying rent and managing cash flow. From the outset, the Government of Canada has taken meaningful action to support them, including through the $962 million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).
Nearly doubling the budget of Canada’s Regional Development Agencies, the RRRF supports businesses that have been unable to get access to other federal relief measures, and might be in danger of falling through the cracks. In Atlantic Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is delivering over $110 million to protect jobs, support businesses and help them play a role in our economic recovery.
Jobs and Recovery for Atlantic Canada
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced that 293 projects with businesses and business support organizations have been supported with over $63 million in RRRF funding, protecting jobs across the region.
With Atlantic Canada’s tourism sector – and industries that rely on it like food service, recreation and entertainment – deeply affected by COVID-19, more than 30 percent of ACOA’s RRRF investments are supporting tourism-related businesses. With downtown cores also hit hard by COVID-19, $9.1 million was allocated to four organizations to help soften the effects on main street businesses, like small retail shops.
As support from the RRRF reaches those who need it most, Atlantic Canada’s economic recovery is generally progressing ahead of the rest of the country.
“Businesses and workers across Atlantic Canada have been hit hard by COVID-19, and we’re here for them with major support from programs like the RRRF, so no one falls through the cracks. The funding is making a real difference for hundreds of Atlantic businesses, and protecting thousands of jobs from St John’s to Fredericton. Our message is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help Atlantic Canada’s economy come back strong.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“What became clear early on in the COVID-19 lockdown was that Main Street businesses – the engines of downtowns across Atlantic Canada – would need targeted support to keep them afloat as the economy slowed. I’m pleased that these organizations, through ACOA, were able to provide regional recovery and relief support to these businesses to help them recover as the economy moves forward.”
– René Arseneault, Member of Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (ACOA and Official Languages)
Of the $110 million allocated to Atlantic Canada through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) received $66.75 million to support Atlantic Canadian companies and business support organizations that could not access existing federal programs.
- ACOA also provided $43.3 million to the Atlantic network of 41 Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) for main street businesses and retailers in small, rural and remote communities throughout Atlantic Canada.
The RRRF provides working capital to finance the everyday operations of a business including, but not limited to, sales and marketing, product development, wages and other activities.
Organizations providing an urban Main Street loan program in Atlantic Canada are:
- Metro Business Opportunities (MBO) in Mount Pearl, NL, which received $2 million to deliver the Main Street Recovery Fund (MSRF);
- CBDC Central PEI, which received $1,050,000 to establish an Urban Main Street Loan Initiative to assist businesses in the Greater Charlottetown Area;
- the New Brunswick Association of Community Business Development Corporations, which received $2,750,000 to administer the urban Main Street Loan Initiative in the greater Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton areas; and
- the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education & Development Incorporated (CEED) in Halifax, NS, which received $3,300,000 to set up and administer the Urban Main Street Loan Initiative for businesses in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Atlantic Canada SMEs can still apply for RRRF support if they don’t qualify for other federal supports.
In Atlantic Canada, ACOA is also delivering the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF).
- The $62.5 million fund is helping fish and seafood processors in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Western Canada get through the crisis and prepare for the economic recovery, so that their communities can continue to thrive.
- ACOA will be delivering more than $38.1 million in funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to indigenous and non-indigenous fish, seafood and aquaculture processors wishing to access the fund.
In addition to the measures the Government of Canada is delivering support through these difficult times with its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, ACOA continues to invest in projects through its regular suite of programs, which support projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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