Government of Canada expands Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support more Atlantic Canadian businesses 

News release

ACOA to deliver an additional $60 million through RRRF to help small- and medium-sized businesses across the region

October 2, 2020 · Moncton, New Brunswick · Atlantic Canada Opportunties Agency (ACOA)

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped to protect millions of jobs, provide emergency support to families and keep businesses afloat as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. A central part of this is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, which helps support those who may not be eligible for other programs. A lifeline for businesses that might otherwise not have survived, the RRRF has been vital in helping them keep their employees, pay bills and get access to capital.

Since launching the RRRF in May, more than 9,000 jobs have been protected across Atlantic Canada at over 1,300 small- and medium-sized businessess (SMEs). However, many SMEs are still struggling as entrepreneurs try to position their firms for recovery while the economy safely reopens.

Funding to support regional economies across Atlantic Canada 
With the public health situation continuing to evolve, businesses across Atlantic Canada need more support – now. That’s why the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced an additional $60.2 million for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to help businesses in Atlantic Canada through the RRRF. This flows from the $600 million in top-up funds for the RRRF announced by the Prime Minister today.

ACOA will deliver $42.2 million of the top-up funds to Atlantic Canadian SMEs that still need extra cash flow to deal with the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19. The remaining $18 million will be distributed by the network of 41 Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) for businesses and retailers in small, rural and remote communities throughout Atlantic Canada.

Eligible businesses and organizations in Atlantic Canada that require additional help to recover from the pandemic are encouraged to apply for the RRRF through ACOA or their local CBDC. 


“Small- and medium-sized businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19, and the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is here to help them, protecting over 9,000 jobs across Atlantic Canada. As the situation continues to evolve rapidly, we’ve heard clearly from businesses and workers that more support is needed. That’s why we’re enhancing and expanding the RRRF to help even more Atlantic Canadians. Our message to them is clear: we’ve been here for you with significant measures, we’re here for you now and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help our economy come back strong.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA 

"SMEs are the heart of Atlantic Canada’s economy. While many in our region were able to adapt when the pandemic struck, many more are still struggling. This additional funding will help Atlantic Canadian businesses not only survive, but grow stronger and more resilient so they can continue their valuable contribution to our economic recovery.”
- René Arseneault, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche 

Quick facts

  • Today’s announcement is in addition to the $110 million allocated when the RRRF was first launched on May 13, 2020, bringing the total emergency relief funding available to Atlantic Canadian SMEs and business organizations through the RRRF to more than $170 million.  

  • 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. 

  • Distributed by ACOA and the CBDCs in Atlantic Canada, RRRF complements other federal relief measures and COVID-19 supports provided by other levels of government and takes into account regional needs and realities.  

  • Businesses in Atlantic Canada that have applied for other federal COVID-19 programs, but were unable to access sufficient relief, are encouraged to review RRRF eligibility requirements or contact ACOA for more information. If you have already applied and are waiting for a response, no further action is required. 

  • ACOA is also delivering $38.1 million of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) in Atlantic Canada.

    • 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 continues to invest in projects that promote sustainable local economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation through its regular suite of programs

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Catherine Mournier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages

Lisa Gautreau
Media Relations
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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