COVID-19: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions launches the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support local economies

News release

[COVID-19] Regions launches the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund: $211M for Quebec SMEs [url:]

Businesses across Quebec that are unable to access existing relief measures can now apply for funding under this new initiative

Montréal, Quebec, May 13, 2020 – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the backbone of our economy and our communities and, as a source of local jobs and pride, play a key role in the well-being of communities across Canada. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in considerable uncertainty and anxiety for businesses and their employees. That is why the Government of Canada has implemented a series of concrete measures to help businesses retain their employees, pay rent and access capital to pay their bills.

Building on the measures already in place, the Government of Canada has set up a new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to be delivered by the regional development agencies (RDAs). The aim of this Fund is to help more businesses and organizations in various sectors such as tourism and manufacturing access the support they need during these difficult times. The RDAs are best positioned to provide this additional support, as they work closely with communities across the country on a daily basis and understand the diverse local realities.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that Quebec businesses that are unable to access existing federal relief measures can now apply for RRRF support through CED. As the RDA for Quebec, CED will work with key partners such as the offices of the Réseau des SADC et CAE in the province to help Quebec businesses get through these difficult times. A total of $211 million will be available to Quebec businesses.

The Government of Canada’s efforts are making a difference for many local businesses, but some are still falling through the cracks—particularly those in rural and remote communities. This is where the RRRF comes in, with $962 million—including $211 million for Quebec—to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that are unable to access existing relief measures. This is the case, for example, for a number of SMEs in the tourism sector that have been severely impacted by COVID-19.

Canada’s businesses are as diverse as Canadians, and the immediate, concrete help available through the Fund will be tailored to their unique needs. This will allow them to be in a position to play a meaningful role in our economic recovery in the months to come.


“No matter how wide we extend the safety net, businesses across Canada continue to slip through the cracks. Many entrepreneurs are still anxious about whether they will get the help they need. With nearly a billion dollars in support, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will fill in some of the gaps. Our message to Canadians is clear: we are here for you now; we will be here for you in the weeks and months to come; and we will get through this together. We’ve got your back.”

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

“SMEs provide good jobs for millions of workers across Quebec, and we need to ensure that entrepreneurs have the resources they need to continue operating once this health crisis is behind us. CED employees are working tirelessly to ensure that the RRRF is implemented as quickly as possible for the good of all of our communities.”

- Elisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions)

“On behalf of Quebec’s 67 CFDCs and BDCs, I would like to extend my most sincere thanks to the Government of Canada and, in particular, to the Honourable Mélanie Joly for implementing this initiative, which will be vital for businesses in our rural communities. Our exceptional collaboration with Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, together with the hard work done by the CFDCs and BDCs on the ground, have allowed us to understand the situation facing businesses in our communities and target relevant forms of assistance to help stabilize the regional economic dynamic.”

- Daniel Dumas, President, Réseau des SADC et CAE

Quick facts

  • The six RDAs ensure that Canada’s regions are heard in Ottawa, and that local economies and businesses get the support they need to grow and prosper.

  • Canada’s RDAs focus on developing and diversifying regional economies to help communities thrive. A major presence in communities, they know where additional support is needed most.

  • Businesses and organizations that have applied but not qualified for existing federal COVID-19 relief programs are encouraged to review the RRRF eligibility requirements or to contact their local RDA for more information.

Associated links


Media relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

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