COVID-19: Government of Canada renews support for Quebec businesses and their employees

News release

The Government of Canada is providing $23.3 million in financial assistance to the Réseau des SADC et CAE to continue to help SMEs affected by the economic impacts of the health crisis.

Montréal, Quebec, November 5, 2020 Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

The COVID-19 crisis has had unprecedented repercussions on the whole of society, and the last few months have been crucial in many ways for businesses across the country. Aware of the economic impacts these upheavals have had on their daily activities and ability to maintain jobs, the Government of Canada is committed to supporting them. Following the announcement on October 2, 2020, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, is today announcing a non-repayable contribution of $23.3 million for SADCs and CAEs under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This assistance will enable businesses to access resources to get through this crisis and be ready to rebound during the economic recovery.

For this announcement, several members of Parliament and Ministers will participate in meetings across Quebec with SADCs, CAEs and entrepreneurs to highlight the benefits of the RRRF.

The Government of Canada salutes the resilience businesses have demonstrated since the start of the crisis. Local businesses, which are supported by the Réseau des SADC et CAE, will play a key role in the economic recovery; they create quality jobs and enhance the regional economic fabric. This support will enable SADCs and CAEs to provide businesses with loans with favourable terms for working capital and specialized advisory services, in addition to funding local economic development projects. In addition, the loan repayments made by SMEs will be capitalized in an investment fund managed by Capital Réseau. This fund would enable SADCs and CAEs to maintain cashflow to continue to meet the needs of businesses in their communities.

To ensure sustainable economic development in communities as the second wave spreads, we must continue to support businesses across Quebec. The regions count thousands of shopkeepers and entrepreneurs with innovative ideas who contribute to the vitality and dynamism of their communities. The Government of Canada will continue to work with them to rebuild a stronger economy.

Additional information on the support provided to the province’s 67 SADCs and CAEs is provided in a related backgrounder.


“The Government of Canada wants to help small businesses across Quebec to equip themselves so they can rebound with vigour after the economic crisis. Thanks to this financial assistance, SADCs and CAEs will be able to maintain their support for entrepreneurs and businesses in their regions. They create and maintain quality jobs, and the government is committed to accompanying them. We were here during the first wave of the pandemic with concrete measures, and we will be here to help them as the health situation evolves.”

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 to thousands of workers across all of Quebec’s communities. We must continue to ensure that they have the resources they need to pursue their activities and withstand the crisis. In recent months, SADCs and CAEs have demonstrated their crucial role once again: their local services, expertise and dynamism have enabled thousands of entrepreneurs to become better equipped for the economic recovery. I am proud that CED has reiterated its confidence in SADCs and CAEs as they help us get through these difficult times.”

Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

“We are very proud at the Réseau des SADC et CAE of the work our members have accomplished in delivering the first phase of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. SADC and CAE administrators and teams have made a remarkable contribution to businesses and communities. Thanks to this additional CED assistance, we are now ready to continue the work to help our communities face this crisis. But today, we are very grateful for the support given to us by government ministers, parliamentary secretaries and MPs through their presence at many virtual meetings across Quebec. On behalf of the Réseau, I would like to thank everyone, very sincerely, and especially the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED.”

Vallier Daigle, President of the Réseau des SADC et CAE

Quick facts

  • The Honourable Mélanie Joly is the minister responsible for the six regional development agencies (RDAs), including CED.

  • In Quebec, the RRRF is being implemented by CED in collaboration with the Réseau des SADC et CAE.

  • The Government of Canada launched the RRRF, which is administered by Canada’s six RDAs. This fund aims to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and that are unable to benefit from other existing federal measures.

  • The 67 SADCs (Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités) and CAEs (Centres d’aide aux entreprises) have been working for close to 40 years on the economic development of their communities. The Réseau des SADC et CAE counts 1,400 professionals and volunteers supporting and funding over 10,000 entrepreneurs and local economic development projects each year. SADCs and CAEs offer personalized, ongoing mentoring to entrepreneurs, as well as flexible financing products adapted to their needs.

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Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

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

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