FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund protects close to 1,200 jobs across the Bruce Grey Simcoe region

News release

Nearly 280 local businesses and organizations receive over $10 million in combined funding to help weather the impacts of COVID-19  

November 27, 2020 - Collingwood, Ontario    

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 (RRRF), which provides liquidity support to businesses and not-for-profit organizations affected by COVID-19 that are unable to access other federal relief measures or require additional support.

Since the launch of the RRRF in May, FedDev Ontario has provided critical support for thousands of southern Ontario businesses and other organizations, helping them continue operations, protect jobs, cover costs and play a role in our economic recovery. Recognizing the pandemic’s continued strain on local economies, FedDev Ontario is delivering $184 million in additional funding in southern Ontario, and has extended and expanded eligibility criteria to help those still in need of support.

Protecting local jobs and supporting business across the Bruce Grey Simcoe region

Today, the Honourable Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced that 278 businesses and organizations across the Bruce Grey Simcoe region are receiving over $10 million in combined RRRF funding, protecting nearly 1,200 jobs in the region. This funding has supported the immediate needs of a broad range of businesses, from main street businesses such as retail shops and restaurants, to tourism operators, resorts and bed and breakfasts.

As part of today’s virtual announcement, Parliamentary Secretary Kate Young heard firsthand from two local business owners about the impact of the pandemic on their businesses and how RRRF has supported them to continue operating through difficult times. 

For example, Collingwood-based Black Bellows Brewing Co. restaurant and brewery was forced to close and lay off staff when the pandemic hit. RRRF support covered operating costs and allowed for staff to be rehired when the restaurant reopened with social distancing protocols in place.

To help support a community that relies heavily on tourism, FedDev Ontario also provided critical RRRF funding to Fern Resort Limited, a 125-year-old family-run resort in the rural community of Ramara on the shores of Lake Simcoe. During the busy summer months, Fern Resort is normally a key tourist destination, but with COVID-19, the popular resort’s revenues were significantly impacted due to reduced demand and peak season cancellations. With support through RRRF, Fern Resort has been able to cover fixed operating costs and keep staff employed.

Businesses and organizations in southern Ontario 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 FedDev Ontario for more information.

Quotes

“Throughout this time of crisis, I continue to be impressed by the resilience and creativity shown by so many businesses, like Black Bellows Brewing Co. and Fern Resort. Their stories are two of many that highlight why FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is so important. The RRRF has protected close to 1,200 jobs across the Bruce Grey Simcoe region, while helping nearly 280 local businesses survive the hardships caused by the pandemic. Thanks to this crucial support, we are helping to keep this region strong and well-positioned for economic recovery.”

-Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

“As local economies continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is here to help. Today’s announcement is proof of our government’s commitment to supporting businesses through this challenging time. Our message to Canadian business owners and workers is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures during the COVID-19 crisis and we will continue to work with you to support good jobs and help our businesses not just survive, but thrive so our economy can come back strong.”

-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Having only opened the doors to our new brewery and restaurant in January of this year, the pandemic put a huge financial strain on the company when it hit in March. The RRRF was instrumental in getting the company back on its feet, hiring back staff that we were forced to lay-off when the pandemic hit, and pivoting the business in new directions.” 

-Bryn Davies, Owner, Black Bellows Brewing Co. 

"COVID-19 closures had a profound impact on our resort business. Funding from the RRRF provided financial relief so we could be laser focused on the intricacies of delivering a controlled and safe environment for Ontarians to enjoy and decompress." 

-Mark Downing, Owner, Fern Resort 

Quick facts

  • The national $1.5 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies, provides liquidity support to businesses and not-for-profit organizations affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, that are unable to access other federal relief measures, or require additional support. FedDev Ontario is delivering $436.4 million to support businesses and organizations in southern Ontario.

  • FedDev Ontario has also extended and expanded the eligibility criteria for RRRF, increasing contribution amounts and the timeframe for eligible costs, which is available to new applicants and existing recipients.

  • With downtown cores hit particularly hard by COVID-19, FedDev Ontario is investing $50 million through RRRF in the Digital Main Street (DMS) platform and the Recovery Activation Program, which will help nearly 23,000 main street businesses and SMEs across Ontario embrace digital business models, positioning them to regain lost revenue and become more resilient and competitive as the economy recovers.  

  • Recognizing the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on tourism in the region, FedDev Ontario also invested $30 million through the RRRF for the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), which will provide Destination Marketing Organizations in southern Ontario with support to help encourage visitors back into local communities as the economy safely reopens.  

  • On November 27, Parliamentary Secretary Kate Young also participated in a virtual tour of Molded Precision Components (MPC), an automotive and medical parts producer in Oro-Medonte. MPC’s scale up project is funded through a FedDev Ontario repayable contribution of $2.9 million, announced earlier this year. The virtual tour demonstrated how MPC pivoted its operations as a result of COVID-19 to produce over 27 million medical face shields for the protection of health-care workers in Canada and abroad.

Associated links

Contacts

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
catherine.mounier-desrochers@canada.ca

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
fdo.mediarel-relmedias.fdo@canada.ca
Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505

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Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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