ACOA 2021: building a more resilient, innovative and inclusive Atlantic economy in a year of recovery

News release

ACOA delivered COVID-19 relief, targeted support to keep the region moving forward on the road to economic recovery

January 12, 2022 · Moncton, New Brunswick · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Throughout 2021, ACOA remained focused on the Government of Canada’s commitment to fight COVID-19 and its economic impacts, providing targeted sector support to help the region recover and rebuild a more resilient, inclusive economy for all Atlantic Canadians.  

Protecting jobs, strengthening key sectors

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, provided an overview of the impact of the Agency’s investments in 2021.

“Since January 2021, ACOA delivered over $314 million in support, assisting more than 1000 organizations and businesses, and creating over 1000 new jobs in Atlantic Canada,” said Minister Petitpas Taylor. “These investments also helped protect more than 5000 jobs across our region.”

These contributions included nearly $96 million in COVID-focused support through emergency relief initiatives like the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) and the Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI).  

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada commited to help position Atlantic Canada for a robust recovery and long-term growth. As of December 31, 2021, ACOA had committed a total of almost $44 million through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), the Jobs and Growth Fund, and the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) to eligible applicants. ACOA is also supporting Atlantic Canada’s hard-hit tourism sector through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), which includes an allotment specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives and projects.

Throughout 2021, ACOA provided support to 365 tourism organizations and businesses, protecting over 3000 tourism-related jobs and creating 169 new tourism jobs across the region.

Through its regular suite of programs, ACOA also delivered over $174 million to Atlantic businesses and organizations, driving economic growth and building on the region’s competitive strengths in priority sectors like automation and digitalization, food and beverage, ocean, clean growth, and the start up economy.

Growing an inclusive economy

ACOA investments also reflected the Government of Canada’s commitment to grow a more inclusive economy and a stronger future for all Canadians. Across the Agency’s suite of programs and initiatives in 2021, ACOA provided almost $10 million in support for Indigenous projects, more than $19 million for women-led projects, $66 million for youth-focused projects, and over $5 million through the Black Entrepreneurship Program.

Across the provinces

Strategic investments delivered by the Agency are helping each of the Atlantic provinces address unique needs and challenges, while growing stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive local economies.

In New Brunswick, ACOA invested a total amount of more than $74 million in 281projects across all sectors, protecting  1227 jobs and creating 294 new jobs.

Across the province, ACOA helped companies adopt digital technologies and processes by supporting the CollabHub project, an online platform that helps SMEs engage with the province’s digital ecosystem. As well, ACOA continued to support the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc (in French only), with projects to help grow and retain the Francophone workforce, to help Francophone businesses improve productivity, and to provide business services for women in Francophone minority communities.

In 2021, in New Brunswick, ACOA also supported:

  • Wabanaki Maple, a 100 percent Indigenous and female-owned company, to mitigate the effects of COVID and expand their online presence as well as production facility;
  • The Multicultural Council of New Brunswick, to help address barriers to full economic participation by newcomers; and
  • McGraw Seafood, 100 percent owned by the Elsipogtog First Nation, in building a new plant, implementing COVID safety measures, and mitigating effects of the pandemic.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, ACOA invested a total of more than $98 million in 380 projects throughout the province, protecting 2269 jobs and creating 364 new jobs.

Across the province, ACOA invested in the innovation ecosystem, helping to grow Newfoundland and Labrador’s vibrant tech sector, which includes startups across health, finance, oceans and the green economy. Projects included support for Genesis, the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship, the Ocean Startup Project and Bounce Health Innovation.

In 2021, in Newfoundland and Labrador, ACOA also helped:          

  • techNL, to support 395 companies to acquire new technology and digital capacity, which allowed them to pivot to generate online sales during and beyond the pandemic;
  • Innu Nation, to continue the operation of the Innu Business Development Centre, which helps businesses capitalize on opportunities in resource development projects in Labrador; and
  • Association for New Canadians, to provide awareness, assistance and mentoring to temporary residents in Newfoundland and Labrador on the path to achieving permanent residency.

In Nova Scotia, ACOA invested a total amount of more than $82 million in 427 projects throughout the province, protecting 1746 jobs and creating 477 new jobs.

This included support for the province’s dynamic Life Sciences sector, which included investments in a new bioprocessing hub at the Verschuren Centre in Sydney, as well as continued support for innovative medical technology companies around Halifax.

In 2021, in Nova Scotia, ACOA investments also supported:

In Prince Edward Island, ACOA invested a total of more than $48 million in 187 projects throughout the province, protecting over 222 jobs and creating 105 new jobs.

Throughout the province, ACOA investments helped businesses, post-secondary institutions, and non-governmental organizations adapt to rapid change in the face of COVID-19, and set them on a sustainable path for growth. These investments helped establish new and grow existing Centres of Excellence to connect industry with innovative research, advance the technical capabilities of SMEs, and create new tourism opportunities. ACOA program support continued to focus on priorities of labour, digitalization, clean technology and Indigenous economic development through various projects.

In 2021 in Prince Edward Island, ACOA also helped:

The Government of Canada is committed to building on ACOA’s impactful work in 2021 to accelerate the recovery and growth of Atlantic Canada’s economy, strengthen local communities, businesses and sectors, and grow a more sustainable and inclusive future for all Canadians.


“Throughout 2021, Atlantic Canadians continued to demonstrate incredible resilience and resourcefulness to overcome challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through ACOA, we are committed to ensuring that our businesses, organizations and communities have the support and resources they need to adapt, grow and thrive as we build back better.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

Quick facts

Related products

Associated links


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of
the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Media Relations
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Stay connected
Follow ACOA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Page details

Date modified: